The Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus says the federal government seems to be listening to concerns about housing shortages.
Peter Emon says he was pleased that Ottawa is pledging billions of dollars for housing.
The statement said that $15 billion will go to an “apartment construction loan program” to build 30,000 homes. Another $4 billion is going to a “Housing Accelerator Fund” to cut “red tape” and build more than 100,000 homes quickly.
Emon recently went to Parliament Hill to pitch the Caucus’s 7-for-7 plan, a movement to build 7,000 rent-geared-to-income units in Eastern Ontario in seven years. In that area, 16,000 people are on waiting lists for affordable housing.
He’s confident the message was heard but said municipalities will have to act quickly to get a share of the federal money.
“As most time with federal and provincial government announcements, they don’t differentiate in terms of smaller populated areas,” he says.
“What tends to happen is the larger areas swoop in fast with plans and the rest of us fight over crumbs. I know 15 billion crumbs will be there, but there are 440 municipalities.”
While Emon is optimistic about the housing money, he says he was concerned that the statement did not earmark money for homelessness and mental health support.