Affordable Housing: From Crisis to Catastrophe

Currently, here in London we are on a cost cutting frenzy, attempting to meet the Mayor’s promise of 0% property tax increases over the next 4 years.  As reported by Gina Barber here, at the last Council meeting Councillors brought forward their suggestions for cost cutting measures.  Councillor Joe Swan suggested that $2.4M of unspent money from the affordable housing budget this year might be rolled into economic development.

To put this suggestion into perspective, it is worth reminding everyone that the current wait list for London Housing averages 8.3  years (as seen here).  I would suggest that this constitutes an affordable housing crisis.  To solve this problem, London has the London Community Housing Strategy which covers housing over the next 5 years, and has a target of 1200 new units.  However, in operationalizing this plan, Council has put together the funding process for the next 3 years, and it only includes 450 units.  That means that we need to do 750 units in years 4-5.  Is this possible?  Well, it will require large provincial and federal investment.

Which leads us to forecasts for federal investments in affordable housing.  The federal government is set to start making drastic cuts to affordable housing, starting this year, as shown below:

 

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