Mayoral Candidate Keanin Loomis Announces Strategy to Address Encampments by Aiming to Eliminate the Affordable Housing Backlog

October 5, 2022

Mayoral Candidate Keanin Loomis discussed his strategy to manage encampments by dedicating $1 million to the effort and aiming to build 1,000 affordable housing units a year. He was joined by a number of Hamilton is Home Coalition members, including Graham Cubitt, Director of Projects and Development of Indwell.

“Housing remains among the top issues for our community in this municipal election, especially for those that are forced to live in encampments or elsewhere on our streets. This Council dedicated $500,000 in funds to break up encampments, but have not been dedicating sufficient resources to actually addressing the root causes,” said Loomis.

Loomis announced his strategy to repair, onboard, and build a total of 1,000 affordable or supportive housing units per year over the next term of council through key collaborative actions with community partners.

“We are not building enough housing units of all types in this city, but in particular affordable housing and supportive housing are critically needed for thousands of Hamiltonians. It is time for Hamilton’s Mayor to bring community leaders and engaged citizens together to tackle this issue. We need to build a plan, which will include collaboration and the support of creative solutions to combat Hamilton’s affordable housing backlog.”

If elected, Keanin would immediately work to prioritize municipally owned land specifically designated for affordable housing development and explore options for community organizations to have priority access to these lands for their own affordable and supportive housing developments. Keanin would move a motion to freeze development charges on any affordable housing developments by select community organizations, similar to the exemption CityHousing Hamilton currently receives.

In doing so, the City would provide greater opportunities and flexibility to affordable housing service providers for planning and developing new affordable housing units. Additionally, Keanin would explore opportunities for other organizations to provide support at existing CityHousing properties.

“CityHousing Hamilton already struggles with its growing backlog of repairs, and we must look to creative solutions and engage with organizations who have the expertise and resources to get the work done in a more timely and efficient manner,” said Loomis. “We must take action to demonstrate to the provincial and federal governments that Hamilton takes affordable housing seriously, and by pursuing creative solutions, can help to secure additional funding dollars to onboard more new units every year.”

In working together with the Hamilton is Home Coalition, Mayoral Candidate Keanin Loomis aims to demonstrate a new approach to supporting our community’s most vulnerable by pursuing creative solutions to dramatically increase Hamilton’s approval of affordable housing units year over year.

Paired with Keanin’s plan to build 50,000 homes by conducting a residential zoning by-law review and exploring inclusionary zoning policies along transit routes, this new strategy to working with affordable housing community service providers to afford them the privileges that CityHousing Hamilton enjoys will unlock a path to repair, onboard, and build one thousand affordable housing units per year.