Developer Fees as a Tool for Lower Cost Housing
We need to approve higher density developments within existing service areas in the city that do not need as many environmental reports or decade -long approvals/ multiple redesigns, so the developer overhead costs are lower. If we build where we have existing utilities, on properties without environmental impacts, we don’t need high developer fees to cover those costs. Insist on accessible rent-geared-to-income rental units in all new developments in exchange for modified developer fees. If we are going to give discounts, they should be conditional upon affordability. Negotiate maximum pricing limits on these builds. Expanding the city out costs more for everyone. We need to build up.
Affordable Green Housing
We need affordable, green, accessible housing. I would approve higher density developments within existing service areas infill rather than expanding on the city border. These areas need less environmental impact reports and do not cost the city as much to hook up to utilities. I would make a motion for new buildings to be accessible to multiple types of disabilities and have many more options so all people can live here and people can age in place, rather than having to move to LTC homes. We have many companies in Guelph who do green architecture, create VOC-free finishings, and healthier exterior and interior construction materials. I would coordinate with these groups as well as developers to create plans that bring Guelph forward on our environmental goals. Buildings that use green energy sources, water capture systems and have a large percentage of rent-geared-to-income rental units would get developer fee discounts.
Supporting Local Housing Businesses
This should also encourage more companies who create inclusive building materials, accessible industries and green technologies to start up in Guelph. There is a non-profit organization who is trying to make a Science Centre in Guelph and I would encourage groups like them to build with incentives as not only would they create jobs, but it would help with tourism and bring in new money for the existing businesses.
Parks and Services for Apartment Residents
With higher density areas, green space is very important. I would coordinate with Guelph’s extensive gardening community and non-profits to create both pollinator and community gardens so that people living in apartments have options to grow their own foods. We also need to ensure that our public transit is up to par for the needs of a community of that size.
Accessible Homes and Ageing in Place
I would make a motion for new buildings to be accessible to all of our community members. For example, If we plan to accommodate individuals with multiple types of disabilities from the beginning, we will create barrier-free buildings that provide everyone with options. We all deserve this flexibility. Future projects should be built with the community in mind, where people can age in place, rather than having to move to LTC homes. Inclusivity benefits us all and is good for business. I am interested in making impactful changes that will support long term, substantial growth for Guelph.