The City of London commends the federal government for unveiling details surrounding a National Housing Strategy, an important breakthrough for cities across the country and a strong step forward in recognizing the importance of housing to the social and economic well-being of all Canadians.
Ensuring safe, affordable housing is a priority for all levels of government. The City of London has been working closely with partners including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities ‘Big City Mayors’ Caucus, the Association of Municipalities Ontario, as well as Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament in shaping the development of the National Housing Strategy.
As the federal and provincial governments continue to develop bilateral funding agreements on the National Housing Strategy, the City will continue to work with all partners to ensure alignment of provincial and municipal priorities.
“Safe, secure and affordable housing is more than a roof over someone’s head; it’s a place to call home, start anew and build a future,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “London has been an advocate for a National Housing Strategy that works for all Canadians. With nearly 3,000 people in London waiting for affordable housing, we are ready to act quickly and do everything we can because we know that housing is key to lifting people out of poverty.”
“London has been a leader in advocating for flexible, long-term funding for social and affordable housing,” said Sandra Datars Bere, Managing Director, Housing, Social Services and Dearness Home. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but the National Housing Strategy is an important step in the right direction.”
“The National Housing Strategy will support London’s Housing First approach to ending chronic homelessness,” said Lynne Livingstone, Managing Director, Neighbourhood, Children and Fire Services. “Housing combined with ongoing supports for individuals and families are the key elements to achieving lasting housing stability.”
Locally, the City continues to pursue innovative approaches to addressing our community’s housing and homeless prevention needs. The focus on supporting healthy and mixed communities reinforces the City of London’s approach through the recently created Housing Development Corporation, London. The Housing Development Corporation’s mandate is to bring together private and public partners to create innovative affordable housing opportunities.
In 2017, the Housing Development Corporation supported the creation of 161 new units of affordable rental housing in London and Middlesex, and recently announced plans for 136 more to start construction in 2018. The City is leading a collaborative, cross-sector approach linking governments, community organizations, and the development community to support sustainable affordable housing.
The portable housing benefit is another important element of the National Housing Strategy, which has the potential to significantly bolster London’s homeless prevention efforts. Allowing Londoners to remain in their own neighbourhood through hard times provides greater stability and leads to better outcomes.