Hamilton is a wonderful place to live, but for too many of us, it has become difficult to find and afford the right place to rent or buy. We can do so much more at City Hall to ensure that Hamilton is affordable across all of our neighbourhoods and communities. As mayor, I will make meaningful progress to address one of the major causes of Hamilton’s housing crisis – that there is simply not enough of the right kind of housing available.
Over the next four years I will work with City Council, staff and the community to:
- Eliminate the affordable housing waitlist by collaborating with not for profit housing organizations, private market developers, and the provincial and federal governments to get smart, ambitious projects underway fast.
- Increase housing supply in Hamilton to bring market costs down so that people can afford to buy their home here and to ensure our kids can stay in Hamilton.
- Create a dedicated department at City Hall to streamline the building process for all because housing is the top priority I hear from Hamiltonians.
- Recognize that housing is a basic human right. Tackle homelessness and create supportive housing for those struggling with mental health and addiction, accessible housing designed for persons living with disabilities, and safe transitional housing for women and their children fleeing domestic violence.
How we’ll do it:
- Set clear targets for housing starts to increase the supply and options for market value and truly affordable housing throughout the city, including increased development of “Missing Middle” housing.
- Overhaul housing and development approvals and management process with a focus on transparency and accountability. Create a dedicated department that encompasses all aspects of housing projects to manage and streamline the process to completion. Give projects clear online tracking so individuals and organizations can easily track their progress. Give each project a dedicated staff point person with a proactive mandate to avoid delays.
- Work alongside non-profits, who are experts in addressing homelessness. They are critical partners in responding to homelessness and we must work hand in hand to avoid the closure of beds and services because of inadequate funding.
- Evaluate, improve, renew, and resource Hamilton’s 10-year housing plan in 2023.
- Leverage well established relationships at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa to deliver provincial and federal investments to Hamilton through a team Hamilton approach. Tap into available funding from all levels of government for innovative existing affordable housing plans like the Hamilton is Home plan, which will build 3000 affordable units in 3 years.
- Leverage land that the City owns or has influence over, and establish affordable housing targets for projects built on that land.
- Revitalize City Housing and ensure that it operates as a resource to strengthen communities and support people who are at risk and experiencing poverty. Implement a City Housing plan to improve infrastructure and quality of housing, connect to the community, and work in partnership with other community services to support tenants.
- Work with affordable housing providers and private developers to ensure there is an adequate supply of market affordable housing as well as truly affordable and high quality rent-geared-to-income housing.
- Work alongside other municipalities and the province to explore and implement a “use it or lose it” policy for development, to ensure housing is built and lots don’t sit empty or underused.
- Explore innovative financing arrangements to build affordable and co-op housing faster, and ensure it stays affordable.
- Ensure development charges support the parks, infrastructure, health care, libraries and public services that will build communities, not just houses.