Housing and homelessness are national issues. There is no silver bullet to deal with these challenges; the problem is two-dimensional spanning availability and affordability. The City has the responsibility to help augment and leverage the federal and provincial plans. A Mayor Kadri council would be committed to contribute in a meaningful and responsible ways to eliminate homelessness and establish affordable housing for all residents of Ottawa. Homelessness, affordability and availability are a plight but housing is a right.
- Changing density in targeted areas. We need to reconsider, in an objective and cooperative way, changing the zoning density in targeted areas, especially those close to transit nodes and schools. Over 70% of the built up areas are reserved for detached and semi-detached housing. This is not consistent with our goals and plans to expand housing availability and affordability.
- The public consultations process has become a major stumbling block. I’d like to maintain it but restrict it to more than 10 units. One complainant could stall the building of major housing projects. We should have consultations that are serious but not frivolous. We want a consultation process to keep housing projects responsive to residents’ concerns, but we need more housing and cheaper units.
- Exempt any developments of 10 housing units or less from public consultations in order to speed up the process of development and to quickly augment our housing supply.
- Allow secondary suites given the affordability crisis for families or people who want to rent out their basements or secondary units. Allow for development of special rooming houses close to universities and colleges for better supply of student housing.
- The municipality should take responsibility for building affordable housing for people who have been cut out from the market (the homeless, the poor) and that can be easily paid for through the new housing developments that this plan will bring about.
- Tap into the growing market of green initiatives (Green municipal funds for housing, infrastructure banks, venture capital funds, federal and provincial government initiatives). We can align our goals to help increase the supply while remaining consistent with the green economy and imperatives of sustainability.
- As part of our plan, we will build and/or guarantee 160,000 housing units over the next decade with 25% being affordable housing. 40% of those units will be available at the end of our first term.
- We will negotiate with the federal government to retrofit some of the empty government buildings in downtown to become affordable housing units. We can do this with support from Green Municipal Funds and lead on both housing and the environment. This will help revive the downtown, help businesses in the area and solve some of the immediate housing shortage issues.