CTV News: Calls for affordable housing as federal minister stops in London

Posted April 14, 2022

Housing advocates are calling for more housing geared to those with modest incomes. It comes on a day federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra made a stop in London, Ont. to promote the Liberal government’s so-called Housing Accelerator Fund, announced in last week’s federal budget.

“When we talk about housing we mean housing for everyone,” said Alghabra. “That includes marginalized and vulnerable communities, Indigenous communities and those who live far from big cities.”

The minister was joined by London MPs Peter Fragiskatos and Arielle Kayabaga, as well as a number of city representatives.

They used 403 Thompson Road as their backdrop. It’s the site of a city-led affordable housing project — one of three aimed at easing the city’s homelessness crisis. The build is part of the Rapid Housing Initiative, and targets those most at risk of homelessness, said Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan.

“But it is so critical for us to have supports and wrap-around services that can help those who are moving into stable housing situations, sometimes for the first time in many years to be supported,” he said.

While a number of new private developments do include units with reduced rents, housing advocates say they’re at prices that are still out of reach for those with modest incomes.

Jordan Smith, of anti-poverty group Acorn Canada, said his group would like to see inclusionary zoning that would require as much as 30 per cent of new developments to be affordable, such as rent-geared-to-income units.

“The money is wasted unless it’s put towards actual affordable housing,” Smith said. “What’s affordable is left to the discretion of developers at the moment, and that’s totally unacceptable because it doesn’t meet the needs of the low and moderate income renters in London — the people who actually need that affordable housing right now.”

The building at 403 Thompson Road will be four storeys and include 44 units. It’s expected to be move-in ready by early next year.

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Article by Bryan Bicknell for CTV News London

 

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