An important part of my vision as your next mayor is for every Londoner to have a safe place to call home. Nothing is more basic than having a safe and decent place to live.
Without a place to live people struggle to positively contribute to their communities. My vision is not only possible but it’s the right thing to do. My commitment to fair housing requires investment and creating important policy changes.
Our existing stock of social housing is at a critical point. The London Middlesex Housing Corporation is facing an infrastructure deficit of $228 million. Units go without crucial repairs because money is not made available to do the work. Completing these long overdue repairs, along with making necessary upgrades to aging buildings requires one thing — investment.
We need to build more units to meet the needs of individuals and families who’ve been stuck on housing wait lists for far too long.
The City of London cannot foot the bill for these solutions alone. Instead we must secure financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments, as well as the private sector.
While on city council, my colleagues and I have worked hard to lay the groundwork to tackle this serious issue. But housing issues require long term strategies and plans and it will take another term of council to secure the necessary funding from the other levels of government.
Some ways that council can effect positive change in housing is by utilizing important tools such as inclusionary zoning and bonusing. This means that when a developer comes to the table with an application, they have incentive to create affordable housing that enhances the density of a building.
The community receives much needed benefits when developers make use of bonusing including new green spaces, public art, green roofs and more attractive buildings. City council may negotiate on areas such as building height or units per sq. hectare and in return developers agree to create affordable units within their multi-million-dollar projects.
London can be a place where all new developments include affordable units. To achieve this local government and private sector companies must work together. This co-operation is an example of how Londoners can work together for the well-being of everyone. This is part of my commitment to you as London’s mayor.
I will continue to work to ensure every Londoner has a safe and dignified place to call home. We need leadership done differently so that create new opportunities — because everyone matters