Affordable Housing – what are the collaborative solutions to ensure that no one has to spend more than 30% of pre-tax household income for safe, secure, and adequate housing?
By Jack Vanderkooy, Chair, Habitat for Humanity SGB; member of Collingwood Affordable Housing Task Force and Institute Social Finance & Housing Group
In its work on promoting sustainable communities, the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay convenes a learning group on Social Finance & Housing, with the goal of educating ourselves and our communities on how all sectors can collaborate on solutions to the shortage of affordable housing.
We are collaborating with Social Innovation Canada to provide tools for smaller municipalities to address this issue. The fact that affordable housing is a key election issue this year is well known. Informed by our own learning, we have prepared questions for you to use with candidates in the upcoming municipal election.
These questions are meant to identify which candidates have a good understanding of the issues and potential solutions and are willing to commit to new, workable collaborations, which can be implemented in a timely fashion.
Subscribers to the Institute’s newsletter are encouraged to share these questions with their local candidates, so everyone can make informed decisions when voting on or before October 24th.
- What immediate plan do you have to address the lack of affordable housing in our community?
- What is your definition of affordable housing? How is this different than attainable housing?
- What have you done in the past that shows your commitment to increasing the supply of affordable housing?
- What do you see as the major barriers in our community to creating more affordable housing?
- How do you understand the economic challenges to our community when housing becomes this unaffordable?
- What specific steps do you plan to take to address these barriers, so new affordable housing units can be accelerated?
- Do you know how many units of affordable housing our community needs to meet the demand to ensure all its residents have equitable and fair access to safe housing?
- Do you plan to promote and implement mixed-use integrated housing as a benefit for the community?
- Do you have any other comments which would help voters understand your position on affordable housing and healthy communities?
Understanding the complexity of affordable housing is a steep learning curve for us all; we need to act together, now!