Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 2:45 PM

Affordable Housing Business Plan: Progress and Highlights

Today, the Affordable Housing Working Group presented to staff and members of council during the Community Services and Housing Standing Committee meeting. The presentation included an annual report which noted that approximately 233 affordable homes have been built in St. John’s since 2014, with more projects underway for 2017.

“On behalf of Council, we are very grateful to our many partners for working with us,” said Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth, Chair of the Community Services and Housing Standing Committee. “We are half way to our goal of 500 affordable homes, and we wouldn’t be here without them.”

Housing is a human right and everyone deserves a home that is affordable to them. To be affordable, housing must cost less than 30 per cent of pre-tax household income including housing and related costs.

The Affordable Housing Business Plan looks at the entire housing continuum. Highlights from the annual report include updates on many action items. For example:

  • Increased engagement and collaboration with the community with the introduction of the Housing Catalyst Fund with an investment of $50,000;
  • Continuous work on recommendations put forward by the Seniors Housing Research Project including starting a Seniors Affordable Housing Sub-Committee of the City’s Affordable Housing Working Group;
  • Conducted a Landlord Survey in July 2016 to cultivate a base of landlords in the City, over 300 landlords participated, see results on the City’s website;
  • Continuous collaboration with stakeholders such as RNC, and multiple provincial government departments and agencies to create a new policy that will address the issue of under-reporting of property standards violations;
  • Identifying City owned land that is suitable for the development of affordable housing options with next step to identify provincially owned land for development;
  • Working with NL Power, and other related stakeholders to find energy saving tactics to be employed to increase housing affordability; and,
  • Preparing the Affordable Housing Social Media and Marketing Strategy to encourage the creation of more affordable housing, to be rolled out in 2017.

“A safe and affordable place to live for all citizens is a basic building block for a happy and prosperous community,” said Deputy Mayor Ellsworth. “Cooperation is key, and I thank all residents, business owners, community and government organizations that are working with us to improve access to affordable housing.”

Further information regarding the City’s work, including the Annual Report, and Landlord Survey Results is available at stjohns.ca, under Publications.
 
Media Contact:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca