Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is calling out the federal government for “grossly” overlooking the lack of affordable housing in its 2018 budget.
“I’m disappointed the federal government has remained silent on the challenges of affordable housing in Canada,” said Burton.
“It is critical that we address this issue in a timely manner. The problem will not go away on its own.”
Average household incomes of Oakville residents have not kept pace with rising resale and new housing prices, according to the town, and as a result, affordable housing needs have steadily increased over the past several years.
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Oakville is part of Halton Region’s strategy which targets the addition of 550 to 900 new opportunities for residents over the next decade.
Achieving success will require long- term investment and partnership with all levels of government, say town officials.
But what are 550 to 900 “new opportunities” exactly?
The term ‘new housing opportunities’ refers to new housing tenures created, said Halton Region’s director of housing services and social and community services Andrew Balahura.
It’s achieved through a mix of things:
- New development/build.
- Acquisition of existing rental properties to maintain them as affordable.
- Entering into rent supplements – or an agreement with a private-market landlord in Halton to house residents from the Halton Access to Community Housing (HATCH) waitlist — the Region provides subsidy directly to the landlord.
- Portable housing benefits (a housing subsidy that is provided by the Region directly to eligible Halton residents to assist with their monthly rental costs).
Housing opportunities are being created across Halton Region broadly, said Balahura, including Oakville.
“From a capital bricks and mortar perspective, a number of new housing opportunities were recently created in the Town of Oakville,” he said.
“Rotary Gardens, located at 1285 Sedgewick Cres.,was acquired from the Oakville Rotary Club to sustain the housing tenure of 28 vulnerable Oakville seniors. The Region’s acquisition of this site will maintain the property as affordable for current and future Halton seniors.”
In addition, “we have acquired 39 condominiums in Oakville for use as assisted housing.”
Chart courtesy of Halton Region
Do you think there’s enough affordable housing in Oakville?