Housing and homelessness are critical issues. There's a lot Toronto need to do on housing affordability and Councillor's should make realistic promises about what they alone can achieve. These should be our top priorities:
- We need to build more housing supply in the right places. Our community needs housing options that aren't just luxury condos, and that housing has to be in the right places and at the right scale so we don't lose the character of our communities. We should look to our transit-supported main streets and avenues like Danforth and St. Clair to bring new supply and support local businesses. Green Ps and other City lands are also a prime opportunity for us to deliver more housing.
- We need to make it easier for homeowners to improve their affordability. Homeowners can help themselves and their communities by building new housing supply like basement apartments and laneway houses. These units would give younger people, ageing family members and older-dependents affordable housing options in their neighbourhood. The extra unit revenue can help pay increasing mortgage costs. I want to make it easier for everyone who wants to do this, to do it. This will take getting the community on board and making sure the planning system supports these objectives.
- We need to invest in Toronto Community Housing, non-profit housing, and co-ops. Toronto's real estate boom hasn't benefited everyone equally. Our Councillors should advocate for more funding to be allocated to housing that serves people in the deepest need. Everyone deserves housing they can afford. Allocating money the City collects from new luxury developments to affordable housing is one way to do this. Another is to require a proportion of new developments to provide affordable housing. We need multiple approaches to address this complex problem.