The Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound (BGOS) NDP has submitted a paper on housing to the federal ‘Let’s Talk Housing’ consultations. In our submission we make a number of recommendations. The top three are:
· Secure, consistent and adequate Provincial and Federal Government funding is essential to build, maintain and spur innovations in affordable housing.
· Development of affordable housing must be mindful of whom the housing will serve and feature inclusive consultations.
· Development of affordable housing must also create communities that can become self-supporting and that include access to the job market.
The authors of the paper, Jacqueline Schwan, Gord Lawson and David McLaren, together, have some 70 years of direct experience in affordable housing. Ms Schwan was the Executive Director and Director of Supportive Housing in Toronto and, more recently, in Grey-Bruce. David McLaren served on the Board of the Main-Gerrard Co-op in Toronto, and Gord Lawson is still building and renovating houses in the Bruce Peninsula.
They pooled their expertise, took a look at best practices today (especially ways to build in energy conservation) and developed some principles from which to work that might help municipal planners.
In the report, David McLaren writes of his experiences at Main-Gerrard Co-op. “I saw people come in without many employable skills, serve time on the Board or on one of our committees and, as a consequence, secure employment. I saw single mothers able to take advantage of our day care services so they could look for work or just have some time to themselves. … I saw a woman develop the skills and courage to leave an abusive relationship and start a new life.”
Gord Lawson concluded that innovative, energy-efficient single family dwellings and townhouses might work best in the rural areas of Bruce-Grey for a number of reasons. However, current zoning bylaws in Grey Bruce take some innovative designs off the table.
Jacqueline Schwan noted that the long absence of the federal government from the funding of affordable housing has led to a housing crisis that neither the private sector nor municipalities have been able to deal with.
The report is an easy 14 pages to read. It can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2eHRp1V.
For more information:
Gord Lawson (519) 379-7997, firstname.lastname@example.org.
David McLaren (519) 534-4107, email@example.com.
Michael McLuhan, President BGOS NDP (519) 378-4982, firstname.lastname@example.org.