Elections

Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not?

Responses to the question: "Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not? "

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24 Candidate Responses (top)

Mayor
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim Yes I have spoke with a third party over the yrs to create 0 labour cost to maintain the houses that already exist in the housing program. This can also be used to build new houses on city owned properties. By building new homes we could set up a lottery program where people could purchase the homes with no down payment. As for private rentals, we could set up a program with set rates and if owners join this program we could offer concessions.
Gomes, Carlos Yes Yes ofcourse, the simplest way to develop our city is to develop it ourselves instead of continuing to loaning money with no interest rate and no return mandate. The rich continue to take taxpayers money to develop their business empire, promising lower income housing solution than screwing over the city by selling them to their friends and not paying back the money that was loaned to them in the first place. That ends the moment I become mayor. The fact they didn't live up to their obligations the money should have been good the minute the build got sold. I just don't understand how our current government continues to allow this.
Tavares, Ricky Maybe How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi Yes Housing is a basic human right to survive and live with dignity in Canada. Hamilton is claimed the best city to raise children for two decades. it’s a shame for politicians and policy makers to promote dysfunctional policy’s that increase homelessness and raise the poverty line. sustainable housing should be the priority for the city in the next election as a fundamental goal
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes There are a few things the city could be doing to encourage affordable housing in Hamilton. The first is to implement inclusionary zoning in some parts of the city – especially long the proposed LRT corridor – that would allow the city to bargain building height for below market value suites in mid and high-rise buildings. The second thing we could do is encourage laneway suites to possibly ease rental shortages and to revitalize our laneways. Finally, there is an innovative program coming out of Waterloo where they are offering loans to homeowners of up to $25,000 for either building below market value secondary suites in their homes, or to bring existing suites up to code.
Anderson, Sharon Yes Yes. There are three main things Hamilton should do. First make sure the City zoning and planning processes are supportive of smaller developments to increase the amount of housing available. Second in larger developments require a certain percentage of rent controlled units within the development. Third improve and increase the housing stock provided by the City through mixed income developments which are designed to enable those living in them to be resilient in the case of emergencies.
Eroglu, Ela Yes Affordable housing and endemic poverty in certain parts of the city are top citywide issue. Housing is a human right and a basic need for everybody. Rapidly escalating rents and the price of housing, with graduates in higher education owing mountains of debt, owning a home is a dream for most families. Every Hamiltonian should have access to safe and affordable housing, and people of all income levels should be able to live with dignity. People should not be living and dying on our streets.

Close to 6,000 households are waiting for subsidized housing and this number is expected to be 10,000 in coming years. If done right, inclusionary zoning will provide opportunities to create affordable, mixed-income neighbourhoods that would help solve the growing housing problem.

Creating a diversity of neighbourhoods with mixed housing is very important to build an inclusive and vibrant city. I would support zoning by-laws that require a proportion of new housing developments to be affordable to low-income families. In Ward 1, I would support mid-density growth along major corridors such as Main St. West and adding extra storeys to the commercial buildings. However, I believe that open communication, engagement and transparency are very important for achieving the desired result.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Absolutely. I believe that safe, secure, and affordable housing is a fundamental human right, and the City must step in where the market has failed. While proposals like laneway homes are creative and aesthetically pleasing, they will not be sufficient to address this crisis. The City must use its power to mandate the building of affordable housing in private developments. If elected, I will ensure that all new developments have between 15 and 25% affordable or geared-to-income units. I look to examples like Paris, France, and Leeds in the UK. Leeds in particular shares many characteristics with Hamilton, and has seen enormous success in mandating affordable housing in new developments, with the majority of units being rented at between 60 and 80% of market-rate housing. Further, any developments along transit lines or the new LRT line must have a proportion earmarked for seniors and people with disabilities.
We must also address the crisis in CityHousing. Only ⅕ of CityHousing in Ward One is barrier-free, and this must change. Further, much of it is in terrible conditions, with bedbug and cockroach infestations, water damage, and black mould. Council cannot expect CityHousing tenants to live in conditions that they would never accept in their own homes. We must build new CityHousing and overhaul the existing buildings so that they are safe and accessible.
Massie, Richard Yes Yes the City can use inclusionary zoning to require developers to make a larger percentage of new units affordable, creating mixed income communities. Tax installments leave the City holding lots of cash for periods that may be used to cover the borrowing cost, zero-interest loans for affordable co-operatives.
Narducci, Linda Yes Affordable housing is a global growing concern The City must be open to listen to the residents and the needs, it needs to think long-term but also consider immediate needs. It is their responsibility to bring in regulations that encourages a diverse mix of housing types. With much talk about lane houses there are other options such as cluster homes. Affordable housing needs to be close to opportunity/jobs, transit. The City needs to implement a 20% rate on affordability with all new developments.
White, Harrison Yes Affordable housing is a massive problem in the City of Hamilton as well as in the ward. In Ward 1 right now, property owners frequently evaluate the value of their property based on the price per bedroom, a metric which they use to charge student renters. Ward 1 residents face the highest increases in property value throughout the city, paying 172$ more in taxes under the 2018 budget than the year before, with Ward 14 only paying 21$. The student housing issue clearly has drastically inflated the evaluations of property in this area.

At the city level, Hamilton residents on a whole have seen rents increase faster than the average of Ontario, an eviction rates have skyrocketed as landlords seek to improve their profits. Luckily residents are already fighting back, with the adoption of things like ACORN in Hamilton. But the city can do more to facilitate housing, Social Planning & Research Hamilton did a study in June and compared Hamilton’s policies to that of Quebec City. This document makes some amazing policy comparisons that demonstrate the importance of tenant protection policies and the positive impact they have on the rental market, and the broader economy. Landlords love to make people think that improving tenant protection will hurt their profits or discourage development, but Quebec City has had more than 12,000 private primary rental market units built since 2011, compared to only 700 in Hamilton during that same period despite similar growth metrics. Hamilton needs to implement policies that they can to improve the ability that renters have to a safe, affordable living environment. We also need to try and work with the province to establish rules that municipalities just don’t have the authority to do. Jeffery Martin a McMaster Graduate student at the school of Labour Studies reported that he had not seen homelessness like this in Hamilton until this year, demonstrating the clear importance of this subject not just in Ward 1 but across the city. I have plans and am ready to act on this issue as Ward 1 and Hamilton as a city need to drastically improve the way we have, or rather haven’t, addressed the booming real estate market in the city and the problems that have come with it.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes Yes, I support more affordable housing. We should encourage building affordable housing on city owned lands, e.g. land acquired for the stadium, repurposing buildings and develop them for housing. Hamilton has to improve transit and accessibility right across the city which will allow affordable housing in other areas. this issue seems to be concentrated in the lower city.
Farr, Jason Yes The Housing crisis is not exclusive to Hamilton but is certainly a dominant issue that we have been very serious about tackling as a municipality. This past term of council, we devoted 50 million toward restoring and creating new affordable housing units. You would be hard pressed to find another city government that has made as significant a local commitment to affordable housing. In the downtown, Council has supported my efforts to provide housing opportunities where currently City surface parking lots exist (Bay and Cannon/King William near Wellington/191 York).

In the coming Council term, with these and other confirmed projects, we will see more than 300 new units of affordable housing in ward 2. At the same time, seeking further opportunities through partnerships and new planning policy (DTSP) to build more in ward 2 and beyond.

Of course, we need to make certain we receive our share of the Federal Governments 40-billion-dollar National Housing Strategy.

Guiding our efforts in addressing this crisis, is the 2013 Council endorsed and approved 10-year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan for Hamilton.

We have been and must continue to expand our role in providing more affordable housing options.
Smith, Nicole Yes Yes, the city can provide incentives to homeowners to create affordable units within their homes as well as ensuring new developments have a significant amount of truly affordable units to get approved.
Tennant, Mark Yes The RGI program has a long waiting list with limited not for profit housing participation. The Portable Housing benefit only permits 3000 Ontarians and you must be on the RGI waiting list to qualify. It only offers 80% of market rent therefore rent is still unaffordable and most low income families are paying full market rent.To answer your question, I support more affordable public housing development. I applaud meeting the need of seniors RGI housing projects in Ward 2 and 4.. More can be done to meet the need of singles and families. I support the Secondary Plan and ask that if the 30 story limit is exercised, that 20% of all new development be RGI housing. Can the Portable housing benefit restrictions be addressed so more low income people can have subsidized housing while waiting for RGI housing. Not for profits agencies (Housing Help and T2H) are doing their part in advocating for low income and homeless people. Efforts on the part of City housing and The Landlord Tenant Board to be more proactive in identifying substandard housing and illegal landlord practices would decrease displacement. In addition, oversight of all private bids to prevent purchases of rental properties for the purpose of land speculation and the consequential displacement of residents. A unified collaborative effort of all partners providing housing oversight and support is needed.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Laura Yes Many students would like to stay after graduation - I was one of them, but I had difficulty finding an affordable apartment and good paying job and that was more than a decade ago. It’s gotten worse for recent graduates. The average apartment is $1000 per month, plus utilities. That is 71 hours of work at minimum wage.

We should be looking at incentivizing landlords to keep rents affordable, and continuing to work with partners such as Indwell and Kiwanis, including the “Invest in People” motion passed in 2017 which allocates $50 million over ten years towards affordable housing.

There has also been a huge acceptance of ideas such as laneway and pocket homes. I would also advocate for the expansion of accessory homes across the city, and using incentives such as Kitchener-Waterloo to offset the costs for the property owners to do so.
Smith, Dan Yes I think the city absolutely needs to be dealing with the housing issue. A large part of it is a supply issue. I have worked as a property manager for 13 years and have seen many of the problems that lead to reduced supply. A few years ago Hamilton had a plan to give loans for downtown development. I think a similar plan is needed for housing now. One of the biggest hurdles to providing purpose built rentals is the financing. Loans to provide the mezzanine financing so a bank would back the rest could help significantly in developing new housing. As well, also some of the archaic bylaws that restrict development, mostly in the lower city, need to be changed.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Maldonado, Juanita Yes Housing is not affordable because the City Council has not made it a priority. In the closed-door meetings where City Council decides which developers/contractors get the $$$deals, if the affordable housing component is not satisfactory, who is to blame?
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom Yes Yes I believe the City should be providing even more affordable housing as I’ve supported during this term of City Council as a voting member of the CHH Board. This term of City Council invested $50m. towards that objective.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Kazubek, Joseph Yes Affordable housing is a must, and a human right, the city is obligated to ensure that all residents of Hamilton has a safe place to live.

Affordable housing is one of my main platforms focuses, and part of my poverty reduction plan. I have a few ideas that I believe would help with the reduction but also know that I'm not an expert In this, I will work with local groups and put forward a strong plan. I will be considering similar project that other city have used and has been successful at ensuring affordable housing is available, including Waterloo home owner grants, as well as small houses ( alley way homes) community spaces
MacIntyre, Dan Yes I think one of the biggest changes the next city council needs to make is changing what the idea of Affordable Housing it. It isn’t simply city sponsored housing for low income families. Affordable housing is anyone who is forced to pay more than a third of their after tax income on housing, that includes much of my generation who are educated and working in good jobs but still cannot afford to enter the housing market. Across the city we have many opportunities to begin working toward resolving our affordable housing crisis with creative efforts that have experienced success across North America. In particular, a focus on increasing our micro-housing and laneway housing stock is an evidence-based approach that has been gaining momentum in Vancouver and Toronto that could provide very quick returns and alleviate some of the demand. At a very basic level, affordable housing needs to be understood as the crisis it is rather than just another issue, and at our council table currently, it’s only seen as an issue.
Pauls, Esther Maybe Housing cannot be supported soley on the residential tax assessment bas our taxes on our homes would go through the roof. We need to advocate for funds from provincial and in particular federal funding. Immigration is driving the need for housing and its affordability.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Scime, John Yes I do support an expanded role of the City. As I briefly touch on in the first question, when we continue to locate our density in the appropriate places, we have an opportunity to quickly catchup with an affordable housing plan. It is important to work with the developers to provide this type of residence and hold account to the provisions set out in the urban development plan.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes I believe the city does have a role to play in attracting more affordable housing. And that starts with attracting more dense, infill development to begin with. With such developers come requests for zoning and other variances, which the city needs to leverage so as to require developers to avail themselves of inclusionary zoning provisions in the form of affordable unit quotas.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes2291.7%
No00.0%
Maybe28.3%

79 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Mayor
Eisenberger, Fred
Geissler, Henry
Graydon, Edward HC
May, Todd
Pattison, Michael
Rusich, George
Ryerson, Phil
Schmid-Jones, Ute
Sgro, Vito
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Cole, Sharon Elizabeth
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Miklos, Lyla
Wilson, Maureen
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Kroetsch, Cameron
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Bureau, Alain
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Kuruc, Ned
Lemma, Tony
Nann, Nrinder
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Sprague, Kristeen
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Merulla, Sam
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Klazinga, Stewart
Ward 06
Taylor, Timothy
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Benson, Steve
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
McMullen, Geraldine
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Danko, John-Paul
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Wicken, Colleen
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Beattie, Jeff
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Marley, Kevin
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mitchell, Pamela
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Vanderbeek, Arlene
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Iszkula, Robert
Samuel, Vincent
Whitehead, Terry
Wilson, Bryan
Ward 15
McKechnie, Susan
Partridge, Judi