Affordability and Liveability

Affordability and Liveability

A good quality of life is essential for building the vibrant city we all want to live in! This means good jobs, affordable housing and ready access to the amenities that help us build community. Housing affordability has become a pinch point in Edmonton across a wide range of demographics and income levels.

There is a significant need in Edmonton for more diverse housing across the spectrum. While we need more affordable market housing, we also need more affordable housing, subsidies and permanent supportive housing. Our inclusionary zoning practices do not currently address the need for non-market housing across the city and haven’t been very consistent. We need to build this housing as a part of larger multi-family developments that are also supported in the context of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and accessibility to amenities such as schools, shops and services. If we provide the opportunity—for all of the diverse interests involved—to engage in meaningful conversation, we will come up with more robust and consistent solutions that will work better for everyone.

We also need to be building more variety of options to accommodate a greater diversity of family types. This means building for families with kids. But this also means building for multigenerational living, aging in place, co-ops and other shared living arrangements. The current imbalances in what is available and who can qualify (due to limited resources, rather than need), create division in the community. If we have a good mix of diverse housing in our communities, we’ll be able to attract the variety we need to remain viable and resilient.

Affordability and sustainability also come from working with, enhancing, and retrofitting our existing infrastructure and housing. Too often we end up with single generation solutions that are unsustainable. Whether it’s a large amenity like the Coliseum, or a bungalow in a residential neighbourhood, or a historical building like the Rossdale Power Plant, they all have potential. We need to make the most of what we have, not only focus on building new.

Affordability also means having a liveable income. Living wages boost the economy and take pressure off of our social safety net; saving tax dollars in the long run, as well as investing in the long-term economic progress of our City and its residents.

As your Councillor…

I will work with individuals, community groups, non-profits, advocacy organizations, the province and the development community to establish a more rigorous and transparent model for integrating affordable housing into our communities.

I will push to expand the mandate of the  Edmonton Design Committee to include all large scale developments in the City.  

I will investigate whether or not the City of Edmonton is paying living wages to their staff and contractors and work towards a living wage policy.

I will support efforts to re-purpose and retrofit existing structures and work with the community to find creative ways to tell the story of our mature and core neighbourhoods.