Affordable Living

According to the Social Research and Planning Council 50 per cent of Perth & Huron County Residents earn less than a living wage.   Affordable Living is not just about affordable housing; it includes variables which contribute to all members of our community participating as fully as possible. It calls for creative, engaged solutions that put citizens first. Everything is connected.  Housing options, transit options, transportation options, food security, all lead to affordable living and being an attractive community for all.  How can we impact the cost of living in Stratford?

Matthew Desmond says, “Healthcare providers have helped me see that decent, safe housing can promote physical and mental wellness; and engaged citizens have shown me the civic potential of stable, vibrant blocks where neighbours know one another by name.” 

As your Councillor I will:

  • Champion transit and transportation, safe, affordable housing and employment.
    • These work together and impact affordable living.
    • Busing is one piece.  Looking at viable, modern options to move people more efficiently.
  • Challenge my peers to look at ways to increase housing supports for our vulnerable residents.
    • Homelessness, those fleeing domestic violence, seniors who want independent living or are struggling financially, youth and new families.  We can Build partnerships to build homes and Look at creative ways to encourage more affordable rentals (property tax incentives?).      
    • Co-housing opportunities at the developer stage.
  • Push to offer residents reliable transit and healthy active lifestyle choices.
    • Follow through on the cycle plan - being a safe, bikeable/walkable community provides alternative transportation options which are quite valid and essential for a community our size.
  • Draw Attention to The Missing Middle - many middle income earners are struggling.
    • Manufacturers need a steady, reliable pool of employees. One of the barriers to people moving here is Stratford is  seen as being unaffordable for middle income earners. 
  • Explore how we can impact Mental health and create a welcoming fully participating community.
    • For example, a young parent needs to get to work.  That person does not have a car and a cab is cost prohibitive.  That person must be on time.  Having reliable, timely public transit leads to that person getting to work on time and hopefully earning a living wage!  That leads to feeling good about yourself.  That has positive mental health benefits. Parent, child/ren benefit and so will the community. 
    • Having accessible opportunities for Arts & Culture has a positive impact on mental health.
  • Investigate partnerships to increase food security for all citizens.
    • Is the city able to and willing to help support urban farming?
    • Encourage residents to grow community gardens that decorate streets.
When someone works for less pay than she can live on - when she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently - then she has made a great sacrifice for you. The working poor are the major philanthropists of our society.”
— . -- Barbara Ehrenreich

Site of the Britannia Street Affordable Housing Build.  Phase I - 35 units to begin in 2018. Phase II - 20 units to begin in 2020.  Two storey units which look like townhouses however, they are separate apartments. Geared to low and moderate-income households the units will be a mix of one and two bedroom units. Owned by the City of Stratford.