I was heartened this week to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new national housing strategy that will provide billions of dollars for affordable housing across the country. Expanding the supply of affordable housing here in Kingston is both a personal priority and a key element in City Council’s strategic plan. There’s no question that affordable housing is important to our community, but it is also very expensive.
One important point that I have raised with both provincial and federal officials is that Kingston needs more funding, not just to expand the supply of affordable housing in our community, but also to maintain the existing stock of housing. There are a couple of exciting affordable housing projects on the horizon, at 7 Wright Crescent (see above) and at 671 Brock Street (see below). However, there are also many affordable housing developments in the city that are aging quickly and need investment from upper levels of government to make sure that we don’t lose old housing units as we work to add new ones.
The launch of a national housing strategy is an important first step, but there’s still a lot of work remaining. The next step in the national housing strategy will see the federal government negotiate with each of the provinces to bring in additional provincial funding and to work out more details on allocating dollars across communities. I’m looking forward to learning more about these details and about what investments will be made in affordable housing here in Kingston.