A Great Place to Live

Action on Housing

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.

Roads, Sewers, and Public Infrastructure

Hamilton has a $2.3 billion infrastructure backlog that needs to be addressed. When we fall behind on city projects, infrastructure will start to fail causing inconvenience, safety issues and added expense. I will focus on catching Hamilton up and fixing the basics like roads, sewers, and public infrastructure now.

Over the next four years I will work with City Council, staff and the community to: 

  • Cut Hamilton’s infrastructure deficit significantly, ensuring roads, bridges, buildings and underground infrastructure are ready for future generations.
  • Approach infrastructure projects with a commitment to environmental sustainability so that as we clear our infrastructure deficit we do so with sustainable and environmentally responsible projects that help tackle the climate emergency, last longer, and respect our obligation to future generations of Hamiltonians.

How we’ll do it:

  • Develop a comprehensive four year plan, within the 10 year capital program, and work with Council to meet annual infrastructure funding and construction targets.
  • Set sustainable goals and guidelines to ensure all retrofits and new projects meet a sustainable standard.
  • Evaluate quality of work to determine whether contractors continue to qualify for city projects.
  • Take into account communities and neighbourhoods across the municipality, and place special emphasis on ensuring infrastructure renewal meets the needs of people in all of Hamilton's unique communities.
  • Learn the lessons of existing problematic streets and build new infrastructure that incorporates the safety and accessibility of all users.

A City Hall that works for Hamiltonians

Hamiltonians need to have access to city services when and where we need them. We need to ensure that City Hall has a strong, motivated, and thoughtfully structured staff team to deliver those services. Hamiltonians should have access to critical information as soon as it becomes available, and they should feel confident that their elected officials are working in their best interest. When Cootes Paradise was flooded with raw sewage, Hamiltonians deserved to know that it was no longer safe for them and their families to use – as soon as their city council did.  When the Red Hill Valley Parkway was found to have possible major safety concerns, Hamiltonians deserved to know right away so that they could make informed choices to keep their families safe, and potentially save lives.

Over the next four years I will work with City Council, staff and the community to: 

  • Collaborate with all City of Hamilton stakeholders to address concerns about transparency at City Hall.
  • Make responsible, high quality, investments that are right for Hamilton, that will last and provide the best value for communities, not just the lowest cost
  • Bring local politicians together at a Team Hamilton Leadership Table to ensure we can maximize our collective service to the people in our City.

How we’ll do it:

  • Strike a diverse Public Advisory Committee in the first 90 days, tasked with recommending improvements to access, transparency and accountability at City Hall.
  • Build and Chair a Team Hamilton Leadership Table, bring together Hamilton’s elected representatives from all orders of government (municipal, provincial, federal and school boards) to work together for the benefit of Hamiltonians.
  • Ensure that the City has the talented staff needed to deliver services. By developing a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan for the municipality, we will make sure we can meet the needs of Hamiltonians by having the staff in place to deliver services. 
  • Ensure that procurement delivers the best value for communities –  instead of just the lowest cost – because respecting every public dollar means spending wisely. We all know that there are costs to doing things on the cheap, and that savings can come from investment in quality. 

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