City Wide Priority:

Addressing the homeless issue with more options and better housing management oversight 

Housing has been among the most vexing issues that I have had to address over the course of my first term on Council. This is an issue that impacts on all communities throughout Ontario and most of Canada.

There is no doubt that the off-loading of housing to the municipalities by the federal and provincial governments has a lot to do with this. We have not been able to build public housing for more than 20 years. We need to work with other municipalities in Ontario to bring a lot of pressure to bear on next level governments to do their part.

For our own part the best thing that we can do is to get more housing of all types built.

The most obvious problem is the number of unhoused people we have in the City, but we also have to recognize that we don’t have adequate housing for the full range of our population.

We must build much more housing because our population is growing exponentially. We can’t expand the tax base that will help to pay for housing options unless we can grow the economy and companies will not locate here if we can’t offer their employees a variety of housing options.

My solution is pretty basic – build, build, build. We need to build good housing options and we need to be sensitive to the historic districts within our City but we also need to reduce the red tape that results in new housing projects taking up to ten years to get built.

We must work cooperatively with our own local builders so that they want to build in Kingston as their first choice of places to do business and so that they create legacy projects that they, and we, will be proud of for years to come.

We as a City cannot possibly begin to address the issue of homelessness unless we have enough housing stock to be able to offer people a variety of alternatives.