Some of my priorities for housing include;
- Supporting construction of additional rental units to increase supply – we currently have a vacancy rate of less than 1%
- Supporting the Williamsville Main Street Plan and intensification along the Princess Street corridor
- Supporting infill development throughout the City, including the former Nortel property
- Property tax increases must be kept under control!
- Supporting the merger of our social housing providers into a single organization – eliminating duplication and redundancy
- Leveraging vacant, untaxed Government-owned land for the construction of social housing units
Intensification along the Princess Street corridor is essential to solving our housing shortage and to building a sustainable community.
Extending the urban boundary west of Collins Creek or jumping the 401 will be costly in terms of the infrastructure needed to service new developments in those areas, not to mention the additional traffic volume. Infill development, especially the Princess Street corridor and the former Nortel property should be prioritized over continuing to expand outward.
Property tax increases need to be kept under control. Purchase price isn’t the only barrier to homeownership, high property taxes are often cited as a reason why some people can’t afford to purchase a home in the City. Rising taxes also place an added burden on those who already own a home but are living on fixed or low incomes, sometimes threatening their ability to remain in their home.
We have a vast amount of vacant land in Kingston owned by the Provincial and Federal Governments – land that is unused and untaxed, yet taxpayer money is spent on maintenance and upkeep. The potential to acquire some of that land for the construction of additional social housing units should be explored, as acquiring the land inexpensively from another level of Government reduces cost and allows us to construct more units for the same amount of money.
I fully support merging Town Homes Kingston and the Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation. Eliminating duplication and redundancy saves money, improves service delivery, and creates consistency across the system. Two of the top priorities of a social housing agency are to ensure tenants are looked after and to get people housed as quickly as possible, and a streamlined, single provider system is the best way to make that happen. The money saved should be reinvested in maintenance and repairs of deficient units, and the construction of new units.