The City of St. John's recognizes that affordable housing for its residents is a foundation for a prosperous municipality. The City’s has a long history of leadership in this field, including the creation and management of affordable housing for over 400 households since 1982. In the past decade, the cost of rental and home ownership have risen very sharply and there is much more work to be done.
The Housing Catalyst Fund
The Housing Catalyst Fund allows the City to be a catalyst for practical and collaborative projects that produce tangible housing solutions for people. The City’s role through this pilot fund is to work collaboratively with community groups and others such as builders and developers to facilitate and plan housing solutions that will enhance the quality for life for individuals and families, and build a healthier community.
Anyone with an affordable housing project or program idea can apply for up to $10,000 per project.
Priority areas include:
- Senior’s housing
- Affordable rentals
- Mixed Use or medium density projects
- Brownfield and vacant lot redevelopment
- Energy efficiency retrofits
To be considered, projects must be solution focused and action oriented and must be in line with the City’s Affordable Housing Business Plan.
The application form deadline is October 31, 2016.
The Mayor's Advisory Committee of Affordable Housing (MACAH)
Strong partnerships are the key to effective leadership. To have an impact on an issue of this magnitude, the City created the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing in 2008, with a large and diverse list of members, including representatives from all orders of government, the community sector and the private sector. In 2011, City Council adopted the Affordable Housing Charter which commits the City to collaborative action to ensure all residents have access to housing that they can afford. Along with the Charter, Council also approved the City’s first
Action Plan on Affordable Housing - A New Plan in 2014: A Target of 500 Homes
In 2014, MACAH created a Housing Business Plan entitled ‘Creating Opportunities: Housing Our Community’. Council adopted this plan, which sets the target of creating 500 affordable homes in the city during their current term (2014-2017). Meeting that target will require that the City engage many partners in a collaborative and sustained effort: including other governments, faith communities, industry and private residents. The City can’t do it alone, but it will lead the way.
The plan focuses on creating housing that is affordable to households in a growing affordability gap: those with incomes too high for housing subsidy but too low to afford market rental or ownership options. Housing and rental prices have risen quickly in the past decade and over 25 per cent of the city’s population now find themselves in that gap – including new professional talent, workers in the booming local service economy, seniors, new Canadians and students.
The plan includes 17 specific objectives to accomplish over the next four years. Progress towards the target of 500 homes will be reported regularly at the City’s annual Housing Forum.
For more information on the City’s housing work, contact the Affordable Housing Coordinator at (709) 570-2096.