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London Community Housing Strategy (LCHS)

About the Strategy

In January 2010, the City of London initiated the London Community Housing Strategy (LCHS). The intention of the LCHS is to establish an integrated and strategic approach to enhance London’s capacity to ensure all Londoners have a home.  This includes establishing targets and service recommendations related to emergency style housing, institutional accommodations, transitional and supported living options, public and private rental market housing and home ownership.

Multiple and diverse perspectives on housing and homelessness were heard from across the City of London including 20 conversations and group presentations involving more than 120 people; community consultations & open houses with over 175 people attending; a survey with response from 51 organizations; key informant interviews & meetings; 17 individual & agency email responses; and the engagement of 83 people with lived experience including many who were homeless.

The final London Community Housing Strategy report and the Executive Summary were approved by Council on June 28.  

The LCHS recommends a target of 1,200 new affordable housing units in the city over the next five years.  The City would create 900 of those new units (by building or buying units and/or providing rent supplements or subsidies) and another 300 new units need to be dedicated for homeless or low-income persons with mental illness, persons with an acquired brain injury or other cognitive impairments, chronic substance abusers or persons with concurrent disorders.

The LCHS recognizes and builds stronger connections between homelessness services and housing.  Emerging from the LCHS are prioritized recommendations providing a framework for a revised Community Plan on Homelessness.  

Local Housing Facts:

  • Higher vacancy rates have not resulted in increased affordability 
  • Average market rent is out of reach for people earning minimum wage or persons on social assistance 
  • 45% of tenant households spend 30% or more or their gross monthly income on rent; 20% of these same households spend 50% or more of their gross monthly income on rent 
  • Home owners earn 2.5 times as much as tenant households 
  • Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for people with moderate incomes 

Summary of Key Recommendations:

  • The City of London Housing Division and Social and Community Support Services Division will continue to work together to align priorities and work with numerous stakeholders to implement the Strategy
  • Review of London CAReS, Hostels to Homes (or similar initiative) and other opportunities such as aligning funding and increasing supports to people once housed to reduce shelter beds and shelter usage, and focus on permanent solutions to homelessness in London
  • Work with other orders of government to advocate for various changes and to seize various opportunities to improve the life of Londoners, from increasing income supports to protecting existing housing, increasing opportunities for Aboriginal people and newcomers, to amending important policies and legislation that will improve and protect social housing
  • Strengthen the City by mixing affordable housing opportunities throughout the City as the targets are achieved, and embracing environmental stewardship and social enterprise opportunities at the same time
  • Continue policies and programs that show promise, from the work of special Ontario Works teams to the Residential Rental Unit Licensing By-law, to maintaining the annual $2 Million investment by the City into affordable housing.

London Community Housing Strategy

Below are documents and quick links which were utilized in the development of the London Community Housing Strategy.

For more information about London’s Community Housing Strategy, see the FAQ link page

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