Housing - A Top Priority for Peterborough

Everyone needs a place to call home.

Everyone.

This belief is foundational in my plan to build a more prosperous Peterborough where the needs of our citizens are met and where we grow the economic potential of our neighbourhoods.

The need for more housing in Peterborough is the number one issue I hear about from people across the city, from all walks of life. We need more housing stock in the city, and more units that meet the emerging needs of the market. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Peterborough has a 1% vacancy rate and has one of the highest rates of core housing need in the country.

The housing crisis that Peterborough is facing right now requires a focus on building a mix of housing that is attractive and accessible to our diverse population - seniors looking to downsize, single people with low incomes, students, young professionals, and families who want access to parks, schools, and shopping right in their neighbourhoods.

I will prioritize updating Peterborough’s outdated zoning and planning by-laws, and appoint a designated point-of-contact representative at City Hall to work with developers and homeowners so that they are able to take advantage of our growth-ready policies. I will work to build on Council’s positive relationships with developers and social service organizations so that our community can work together to seize the opportunity to create much-needed affordable housing, good quality jobs, and community infrastructure that works for everyone. I will work closely with Federal representatives to ensure that the City is an active partner in bringing the benefits of the National Housing Strategy to our community.

The links that exist between homelessness and other social issues we see in Peterborough, like addictions and mental illness, are undeniable. The complex and interconnected nature of these issues demands that our leadership adopt a comprehensive approach. Solutions include housing stability funds, rental supplements, and affordable housing so that people can focus on healing themselves and re-engaging as contributors in our community. As a councillor, I have seen that the housing stability fund has proven to be a crucial emergency measure to ensure people and families in urgent need can access safe housing, keep their heat and hydro on, and not be forced to choose between paying bills and buying food. In the four years after the housing stability fund was established, from January 2013 until 2017, there were nearly 18,000 issuances. Representing less than 1% of the City’s’ annual operating budget, this is not a very costly program to the City, yet it provides huge value to those in urgent need.

Peterborough is on the cusp of significant and transformative growth, and we need a Mayor who  is in touch with the needs of our community, who understands the challenges and the opportunities, and who has fresh ideas to move our City in the right direction. We need a Mayor who has a vision for the future. I am that person. I am ready to lead.

If you #ExpectMore from your elected leader, vote Diane Therrien for Mayor.