Breaking down recent City Hall progress to help Londoners find accommodation

Amid London’s housing crisis, city politicians will hear updates from two city-owned agencies on the progress they have made over the past year in housing those in need.

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Amid London’s housing crisis, city politicians will hear updates from two city-owned agencies on the progress they have made over the past year in housing those in need. The housing development corporation – now run internally at City Hall – and London and Middlesex Community Housing, the public housing provider, share their latest statistics in reports to their shareholders, otherwise known as municipal Council.

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NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING: London’s Housing Development Corporation (HDC) – an arm of City Hall responsible for funding new affordable homes – helped build 65 new affordable homes last year. 464 other units are under construction, but not yet built. These totals are well below the 600 affordable homes London must create each year to meet the council’s target of 3,000 by 2026.

NEW APPROACH: In an effort to connect people to stable and affordable housing more quickly, City Hall has started building “fast” housing, using prefabricated materials to speed up construction. The town hall has taken the lead in three projects. A 61-unit apartment building at 122 Base Line Rd. — formerly vacant, excess land — is already done, and tenants moved in this winter. Rents for a one-bedroom unit range between $450 and $692 per month. Two more constructions are underway at 403 Thompson Rd. and 345 Sylvan St., with a total of 86 affordable units between them. It is a relatively new practice for the town hall to support affordable development, rather than providing grants or loans to the private sector or non-profit housing agencies to do the work of building new housing. .

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BONUS: Last year, 94 affordable units were negotiated with developers in newly constructed buildings. This is part of the bonus zoning system used by municipalities to approve taller or denser developments in exchange for community benefits like affordable housing. Most of these units are priced at 70 or 80 percent of average market rent for several decades, which critics say is far from “affordable” for most people in housing need. A further 80 affordable units are under consideration in proposals that have not yet been approved by council. The provincial government removes the possibility of using the bonuses from September.

REPAIRS: Nearly $2.8 million in repairs were made to public housing complexes in 2021. The bulk of the fixes were for security upgrades, housing interior repairs, and fixing electrical issues, mechanical or plumbing. Four new accessible play areas have been installed. Assessments are underway to determine how to spend a massive injection of federal funds – more than $40 million – to repair and renovate more than 2,000 community housing units in London and Middlesex. This will include improved accessibility and improvements to common rooms in eight high-rise buildings and new furnaces, water heaters, windows and doors in five townhouse complexes.

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  • 343: Households moved into social housing last year.
  • 353: Social housing – apartments or townhouses – was renovated or repaired in the last year.
  • 602: Affordable housing funded by the housing development corporation since its inception in 2016.
  • $1,095: Average market rent in London in 2021.

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