Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do?

Responses to the question: "Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do?"

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48 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael Yes Yes. We must raise taxes on the rich. Banks and Insurance Companies would be
a good place to start.
Butt, Ejaz Yes I support the city for more affordable housing but they have to fix the existing system which is being misused and absued
Eisenberger, Fred Yes Yes. Adapt the recommendations of the Hamilton Housing and Homelessness plan.
Lavigne, Crystal Yes Yes, I do support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing. I believe Hamilton has many options that we can do to bring this to fruition. First and foremost, affordable housing affects more than just people of "low-income" on paper. It is becoming ever increasing that even those with employment that pays them above the low-income threshold, can not find, or, are finding increasingly difficult to find housing that they can afford. Our market in Hamilton has been unnaturally driven up faster than Hamiltonians that live and work here can keep up. For this, and for low-income, we need to find a solution that can encompass as many financial demographics as possible to avoid a very disastrous future of homelessness and poverty in Hamilton.
McHattie, Brian Yes I support strongly an expanded role for the City of Hamilton in addressing the needs of people who are looking for affordable housing. We need to use the Planning Act and our creativity as a City to ‘invent’ solutions to the challenges we face. This needs to be a priority.
Pattison, Michael A. Yes My answers to this question involves some out-of-the-box thinking with boxed parameters regarding fiscal policy and affordability. Pressuring the Federal Government to remove the capital gains tax from anyone in our city who can afford a second or possibly third home while making it available to Hamilton Housing should be a priority.

The wait times for affordable housing range from three to five years plus. Accessible housing times range from seven to ten years plus. If a person has the financial capabilities to help our municipality, I will find a way to make this happen.

There are myriad ways to get creative and address the issue of affordable housing. Retro-fitted shipping containers are being used in a number of cities already*. Imagine the possibilities, and pride of ownership of the young, elderly, those with accessibility issues and lower income earners purchasing their own home… Hamilton can get out in front of this creative initiative, laying the foundation for a unique infrastructure that could handle these homes and help people throughout the city.

We can also look at city owned properties like unused schools and warehouses that fit the criteria of residential zoning. These options must be brought to the table immediately as the need for housing is ever increasing and time is not our friend.
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes The city needs to take a lead in encouraging developers to build more affordable units in their buildings, as well as the city needs to acquire and operate more affordable housing units. Inclusionary zoning, along with incentives would be an effective way to not only require developers to build more of these units, but to also provide a 'what's in it for me' for them to engage in meaningful participation in the building of affordable housing, vs. strictly just adhering to the letter of the law.
Greco, Tony No Yes. Hamilton should take advantage of the many properties which are currently under utilized. In a lot of cases, these properties are downtown, the structures are in good shape and they are close to transit. It would be preferable to give financial incentives to create affordable housing, rather than to construct new purpose built housing. This will provide much needed revitalization throughout the city. I am also in favour of having new housing developments include more affordable housing in the mix.
Johnson, Aidan Yes Creating a diversity of neighbourhoods with mixed housing is a key way to build an inclusive and vibrant city. I will support zoning by-laws that require a proportion of new housing developments to be affordable to low-income families. I will encourage the City to continue to look at evidence-based practices for reducing homelessness as it implements the 10-year action plan for reducing homeless. (Introducing a Mental Health Strategy in Hamilton is one key way to combat the many negative effects of homelessness, given the disproportionate impact of mental illness on our homeless / street-involved communities.)
Rosen, Ira Yes I believe there are many opportunities in collaborating with private investors and developers In the near future. One possibility would be to include low income housing in student purpose built rentals there are several proposals presently and with a future McMaster University development in the downtown this would be something worthy of serious conversation. In addition, there are many homes in the Ainslie Wood area that might be past the point of repair these could be used for new low income housing developments.
Shaw, Sandy Yes Hamilton and Ward 1 are poised to see many developments over the next few years. But we do not need just any development.

Market driven housing development has failed to produce adequate affordable options for Hamiltonians.

Making real progress in affordable housing requires many approaches. Introducing an exclusionary zoning by-law, which requires all new housing developments to include a percentage of affordable housing, is an example of a tool a city can use.

Affordable housing needs to be improved and new stock needs to be added to the mix in order to reduce the wait lists that currently exist.

Safe, adequate and affordable housing stock can be developed and integrated into the fabric of our communities.  Another such way is the co-op housing model that has existed in the downtown Toronto area where housing is based on a geared to income basis.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Jason Yes I do. Our Housing and Homelessness Action Plan is one of most important plans of the last 4 years. The waiting list for affordable housing is too long and if we do not take action now, that list will simply continue to grow.

What we need to also contemplate more often is mixed income communities. Ward 2 is home to the largest segment of affordable housing for City housing Hamilton. In part, this is because the Province, long ago, considered towers of affordable housing was a good idea. No, it was not. Segregating by income is not healthy for any community, particularly for those living in these areas.
I toured Regent Park a few times over the last term and like the ideology what is being developed there in Toronto. Hamilton can do the same.

I would support contemplating mixed income for our pending developments on the waterfront. Also, with my recent motion (one of three on re-purposing city surface parking lots) I publicly shared that we take a best offer from a private developer who then works to develop that lot into a mixed use community. They would work with a local stakeholder group that brings a Social Planner to the table. We then strive to include affordability into the mix. I have also publicly shared our need keep the mixed income conversation going at the City Housing Hamilton Board table.
Heaton, Kristina Yes Old unused building can be converted to 'lofts' or 'bachelors' with professional services on the ground levels if needed, and second floors dedicated to daycare.
Wallis, Terri Yes Absolutely. Hamilton needs to repurpose unused buildings for affordable and/or accessible housing suitable for individuals, couples, families and seniors with and without disabilities.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Agostino, Ralph Yes Yes; Absolutely I support a stronger role for the city in providing affordable housing, the lack of availability effects many families and we also need to build more subsidized housing.
DiMillo, Mark Yes I support more affordable housing. The City earlier this year adopted the new Housing and Homelessness Action plan which includes more housing in mixed neighbourhoods that is affordable. If we start with trying to meet these targets in the Action plan and look to find creative ways with community partners in achieving more affordable housing stock, then I believe we are laying a good foundation for expanding our role as a City with affordable housing as one of its priorities.
Green, Matthew Yes With close to 5k people on the waiting list and countless others living in substandard, inadequate housing we have a social responsibility to provide dignified affordable housing. We have a comprehensive Homelessness and Housing Action Strategy policy plan that budgets $7 Mil a year over 10 years with various interventions along the homelessness continuum to prevent precarious living conditions. It is incumbent on Council to support and deliver on this policy. In Ward 3 we have the opportunity to join in public private partnerships to build medium density, mixed use, mixed income housing. By increasing the supply of adequate affordable housing we can begin to decrease the demand for illegal multi units by offering tenants more suitable and dignified living conditions.
Mejia, Victor Yes we should look at heritage buildings maybe converating old bring back to new possible looking at business that are abandend and maybe making something out.
Omazic, Drina Yes In addition to supporting the Housing and Homelessness action plan, I would welcome Hamilton to explore redevelopment opportunities, and would look at working on new financing strategies to encourage private development, exploring private-public partnerships, and looking at inclusionary zoning models to increase the number of units being created overall.

The province also recently announced funding that could be applied to support the building and renovation of affordable housing, as well as the provision of rental and homeownership assistance to low and moderate income households.
Simmons, Tim Yes Yes, this is a top priority. The Hamilton Housing and Homelessness Action plan needs to be facilitated by the city to create more places as well as improve the quality of existing affordable housing.

This is also why we need a city wide rapid transit system. People living in affordable housing don't own cars usually, so they need to live on a transit line. But if we don't have adequate transit in Waterdown, Dundas, Ancaster, etc. we are limited to the lower downtown wards, which already have large amounts of affordable housing. We need to spread out to the other areas of the city to create truly mixed neighbourhoods.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes Yes, we should aggressively pursue the province and federal government to establish a national strategy for affordable housing with attached funding thereby creating a progressive means of funding our 10 year plan to increase the housing stock.
Moreau, Lorna Yes Yes. Could convert old factories, abandoned spaces.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Brown, David Yes The City of Hamilton can be very proactive in the provision of affordable housing. We need to be working with the building industry and organizations like the Federation of Rental Housing Providers and the Greater Toronto Apartment Authority to determine the barriers to the construction of new affordable housing units. Working with these groups, we can work with the building industry to have affordable housing units constructed in Hamilton. My experience working with the development industry will enable me to achieve success with this important issue.
Storm, Larry Yes The city should adopt a strategy that will allow for tiny houses and/or campers on private property. The tiny house movement is the perfect answer for housing for couples and singles on small lots. Hamilton needs to look to organizations like Habitat for Humanity to help with a master plan that will encourage the construction or re-development of small homes in existing neighbourhoods. The key to a plan should be the emphasis that the end goal is home ownership.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Rodrigues, Dan Yes Hamilton requires additional affordable housing to support our growing low and working-class citizenry. Hamilton’s City Planners should be allocating portions of land development to ensure that developers are portioning some of their projects towards affordable housing initiatives. We must ensure that we are integrating those who are our working, or lower-class citizens with those who are more fortunate. This initiative will minimize the “ghetto” optics often seen by many clustered Ontario works housing projects.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beck, Keith Yes Absolutely I support a stronger role for the city in providing affordable housing. It's the final and strongest point of my platform you can see at keithbeck.net. The city should better develop the capacity of CItyHousingHamilton to operate in the market-rental segment. With interest rates where they are, the city could build rental housing that's affordable for those on low-income without cost to the local tax base. It is shameful that the city has not recognized this opportunity sooner.
Burghall, Greg Yes Affordable housing is vital to the well being of many families in our city. The lack of availability makes simply getting by extremely hard for many others. We definitely need to build more subsidized housing and also need to help families get by with what they have.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Czerniga, Joshua Peter Yes
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Conley, Doug Maybe Need more information.
Galindo, Cam Yes Yes. It's time for Hamilton to start addressing the issue of poverty by expanding it's role to provide more affordable housing.
Marrone, Tone Maybe
McMullen, Geraldine    Yes Yes, I do support Hamilton having an expanded role. Having worked in an MPP’s office, I heard many devastating stories of extremely long wait lists and people who slip through the cracks dealing with bureaucratic red tape. Advocacy at the provincial and federal levels needs to be continuous so the residents in the Greater Hamilton Area can live in dignity in safe, accessible housing.
Robbins, Marie Yes When we see the effect of all the people flocking to Hamilton’s downtown in recent years, it becomes clear that this is a process we want to keep alive. These new residents have been a major factor in the downtown’s revitalization as they bring new life to the city and greater Hamilton region. This migration to downtown has brought about shared prosperity and has been a major factor instigating the current Hamilton renaissance. There are many things that have contributed to the Hamilton renaissance, but perhaps what has pushed our city over the tipping point is the affordability of housing.

Housing affordability has been one of the major economic drivers in the city and is going to remain a key component of Hamilton’s future success. With some of the most reasonable housing and land prices in the GTHA, more and more people have decided that they would like to move to our city. Although at first, the demand for housing had been satisfied with the existing stock, that stock of existing housing has started to run dry, and so new developments are starting to be built. We can see what this looks like by observing the new developments being built in downtown; this is the economy trying to keep pace with the demand for new and reasonably priced housing.

At some point though, housing prices are going to start to catch up with the rest of the GTHA and then we can expect growth and new building will slow, and the economy along with it. To make sure that we avoid this situation, we need to ensure that housing remains affordable to residents through a comprehensive strategy that keeps increases in new housing harmonized with the demands of the market. In other words, when there is a demand for new housing that cannot be satisfied by new buildings due to zoning restrictions, prices start to rise, less people come to the city and builders build less. The City needs to start conducting zoning and building approvals with an eye to economics so that this situation does not occur and our renaissance is not discontinued.

That is not to suggest that zoning needs to be scrapped and that we should allow for a building free-for-all in the city, certainly not. Giving meticulous consideration to zoning and planning helps to improve the livability of cities, which is the most important factor governing where people choose to live. However, we need to move beyond idealistic zoning plans to a zoning strategy which gives equal consideration to a holistic economic strategy. Instead of developing our city against the flow of economic trends, we need to have a zoning strategy that dams up the raw potential of economic trends and harnesses them to build us a better city.
Rosser, Christopher No I believe that if there is a need it will be provided for. I don't believe that the government should be involved in affordable housing.
Rukavina, Frank Yes Safe and affordable housing impacts the overall health and well-being of our hard working individuals and families. In Hamilton’s new Urban Official Plan, affordable housing has been identified as a community benefit. Section 37 of the Ontario Planning Act allows more affordable housing options. The City of Burlington has adopted a relatively simply process to obtain community benefits under Section 37 of the Planning Act. If elected I will work to implement the City of Burlington’s model.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
DiFalco, Teresa Yes Provided it is correlated to demand - yes. Hamilton should provide incentives to meet the demand and should work closely with other levels of government to identify any disproportionate needs we may have.
Pearson, Maria Maybe I support Hamilton reviewing various options to attract construction of more affordable housing.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bryson, K. Grace Yes Yes there should be more affordable housing. Developers must develop housing hat fits all income levels. And not just townhouses.
Ferguson, Lloyd Maybe
Iachelli, John F.F.   No I disagree. As a paralegal I have seen my share of abuse..Extreme and situations you would never believe. Abuse of the system spoil it for those that need it. Taking on more, means a tighter degree of policing.
Nicholl, Anthony Yes Yes. We should maintain and renovate existing affordable housing structures. We should also focus on improving access to trades.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Norton, Kevin Yes Yes I do support the idea of Hamilton providing more affordable housing. The implementation is not as simple as the idea however. First off there are lands in Hamilton and surrounding areas that are currently grey fields. These are places that are zoned a certain way and abandoned. In the interim waiting for a similar industry to move into these places leaves the land unused and unable to generate revenue. Some on these places are unsafe for habitation and go by another name, brownfield. The lands that are unused and are safe make ideal candidates for rezoning and placement of affordable housing. While I will dedicate the time and effort required to make it a reality it is not something that will happen overnight.
Risdale, Marc Rhéal Yes Yes. In addition to the city's 10 year Housing and Homlessness Action Plan, we need to advocate more forcefully both at the Provincial and Federal levels for more action on poverty reduction. In addition, we need to implement inclusionary zoning to promote greater diversity in all our neighbourhoods.
Scime, Danya Yes YES, I would love to see our expropriated houses from the Pan Am Stadium, West Harbour area rented out. Stiffer penalties on homes that are left to decay should instead have incentives for mixed housing. A Hamilton Program which introduces Seniors and young Families, single Parents etc. in a 'home sharing' Project (allowing people to stay in their homes or purchase a home and have a long term boarder who helps pitch in with the upkeep and costs...this may help our Seniors stay in their home longer or allow a young family to purchase their first home).
Vanderbeek, Arlene Yes Yes. I support the City's 10 yr Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, but we can't do it alone. We need support from all levels of government.
Yull, Toby Yes Affordable housing was built in the 80s using incentives from higher levels of government. Attracting this kind of development today could be similarly boosted with incentives for design and construction. The Tiffany/Barton land use plan has
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Knowles, Steven Yes Yes i agree with aiding in more affordable housing. hamilton needs to look outside the box to encourage support from the province and associations.
Stewart, Scott Yes I'm generally in favour of the City's involvement in affordable housing. My concern has always been how to best address the matter. There are usually multiple factors at play resulting in a family or individual requiring housing that is "affordable". I suggest that there are a great number of groups in Hamilton addressing socioeconomic matters and that these organizations and the City should meet to consider if fewer organizations may be more efficient in their activities and in using City funding. Additionally, as new developments are proposed, there has to be some means either have some # of units designated as "affordable" or some defined portion of development fees put into a distinct fund for the City to then build and manage say apartment and town-home developments distributed among a variety of urban areas of Hamilton.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

39 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Clancy, Mike
Clark, Brad
Francis, Warrand
Iamonico, Nick
Ryerson, Phil
Tavares, Ricky
Ward 01
Lewis, Brian
Ward 02
Dallas, Ed
Henry, Ryan
Vail, John
Ward 03
Anastasiou, Maria
Assadourian, Bob
Gibson, Sean
Hess, Jol
John, Eva
Kelly, Brian
Millette, Byron Wayne
Pinho, Carlos
Szajkowski, Bernie
Ward 04
Laurie, John
Whalen, Tina
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Rusich, George
Ward 06
Jackson, Tom
Olynchuk, Brad
Ward 07
Duvall, Scott
Ward 08
Whitehead, Terry
Ward 09
Austin, Lee
Fiorentino, Nancy
Ward 10
Yachetti, Luana
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Rigitano, Vincenzo
Ward 13
Coull, Mark
Court, Rick
Mitchell, Pamela
Urquhart, Christeen
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert
Ward 15
Bos, Neil
Partridge, Judi