You talk about homelessness, but what about the need for more affordable, non-market housing?

As a City Councillor, I brought a motion from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to City Council which was unanimously approved. The motion was to lobby the Federal Government for the development of a new long-term federal plan to fix Canada’s housing crunch. In 2017, the Federal Government launched a new 10-year housing strategy with funding.

The Federal National Housing Strategy has more than $40B in funding over the next 10 years. I will provide the leadership within City Council that promotes the use of tools in the City’s power – whether it’s access to land, tax-incentives or zoning changes – to partner with other orders of government (like the Territorial or Indigenous governments), not-for-profits or private developers to unlock access to as much federal funding as possible over the course of our term.

The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCIF) encourages partnerships – which can be either monetary or in-kind contributions like policy or regulatory incentives.

The “10 year plan to end homelessness” has a section that addresses the need to increase affordable housing options in Yellowknife. The “toolbox of incentives” in regards to policy and regulatory measures that they recommend include:

  1. Exemption of development/construction fees on new affordable housing projects;
  2. Introduction of attractive density bonuses or other incentives for the private sector;
  3. Fast-tracking of applications on affordable housing and new rental projects;
  4. Tiny homes/small lot options;
  5. Improvement of policy pertaining to secondary suites to encourage new units;
  6. Measures to ensure that zoning accounts for accessibility needs amongst vulnerable groups.

So it’s important that we use the Plan as a guiding document (and track it regularly so we progress!), and then look for partnerships and funding (like the NHCIF) to achieve the targets in the plan.

I’ll also continue to support donating land to Habitat for Humanity, and will work with the NWT Housing Corporation in the upcoming term as they look to complete a Yellowknife Community Housing Plan.