Tonight at 7pm there will be a City Council workshop with our staff on housing in Guelph. You can also watch or listen in live at http://www.guelph.ca/live
The presentation slides are available here and I’d suggest you look them over:
Further to the slides coming from our staff, I thought I’d share with you the public suggestions, questions and/or ideas I sent to staff already:
In no particular order:
That staff explore municipally owned property or assets that can be developed or leveraged to implement affordable and/or supportive housing.
That staff review options of hiring either on contract or full-time, a housing coordinator to help expedite housing projects and objectives with an emphasis on improving supportive or affordable housing within the City of Guelph.
That quarterly reports on housing metrics, aligned to the approved Housing Pledge goal of 18,000 homes by 2031, be published as an information report (or online) outlining (not exhaustive) permitting process approvals and timeline KPI’s, advocacy updates and details of new process improvements to development and permit applications.
That business cases be examined for brownfield lands owned by the city of Guelph in which appropriate reserve funds be used for potential cleanup and site preparation and that reserves be paid back with future tax revenues achieved.
Due to the success of the “Home for Good” matching donation campaign for supportive housing in the city of Guelph, could we consider using $______________ from the _______________ reserve to partner in the same method and oversight as the original campaign and to report back after the conclusion of the campaign to council on outcomes?
Could we engage and review with Alectra (or other utilities) on requirements to help implement our community energy goals, including being a net-zero community by 2051 or sooner. (Advocacy opportunities)?
Could staff inform council of all outside stakeholder circulations or requests for any partnerships or sale of land and/or project developments with reasoning provided to council to advance or cease such opportunities as they present themselves in the timelines required for expressions of interest?
Is it possible to waive fees until September 1st 2026 for all new accessory unit dwellings, (excluding Short Term Rentals), to help incentivize new rental options within the city of Guelph?
Could we do front-end waiving of fees for pre-consultation on planning or building types such as non-profit, charitable, faith-based institutions that wish to build social and/or non-profit/affordable/supportive units?
Can the City play a role in curbing “renovictions”?
Can we design our planning processes to be upfront with suggestions of things that could run “in parallel” for applicants so things could move at a swifter pace?
Could the city use what’s allowed under the planning act, called a Community Permitting System? I see other cities beginning to use this and others taking the time to explore the benefits of it. Could we start in our downtown secondary plan area or across the city? What would it take to identify the positives or negatives around such a system?
With the Comprehensive Zoning bylaw under appeal, does the City still have the right to consider further changes that could help attract new homes to be built?
Is there a way of identifying exactly what it would take financially to “unlock” housing activity (all types) through the required infrastructure in our downtown core so that we can use that information to help with choices for Council about where to put resources, but also to help with advocacy to upper levels of government so we can tell them “if we had X amount of money to upgrade infrastructure here, we could unlock Y amount of new units?”
What are the timelines associated with stuff (people, technology, processes) that you’re working on to help our internal procedures and what, if any, resources could be given through Council approval to accelerate the resources, outside of waiting for the budget in December to help you achieve the outcomes you/we want faster?
These are just my thoughts to date. Council will be jumping in with their own thoughts and ideas as well for this workshop. This is just a first step of many. The housing crisis won’t be solved in one workshop. A report will be released mid August based on feedback received, and then in October another meeting – where the public can also jump in with their thoughts, concerns, suggestions and ideas – will open up for even more public engagement. There’s opportunities as we move into budget season as well.