COMPASSIONATE ST. CATHARINES
A NEW APPROACH TO POLICY
It starts from within. From corporate training and development at City Hall to improving transit and affordable housing, these are areas where local government can have a direct impact through policy and partnerships.
A decent, safe and affordable place to call home is critical for mental and physical health and well being. Everyone needs a safe place to live. Yet housing is one of the most pressing issues facing our city. Rents are increasing and the real estate market is changing. With over 5,000 households on the Niagara Regional Housing wait list and growing, affordable housing is a serious and growing problem. We know that tackling this issue will take leadership, a long-term commitment and innovative solutions.
These are some of the actions we are taking at City Hall and in the community to support more affordable housing:
- A new Niagara Regional Housing development at 527 Carlton St. will create 85 new units. This is the first NRH build in St. Catharines in over 40 years. It will go along way to serving the greatest needs on the wait list. Construction is well under-way and residents will be moving in in late 2018.
- The Housing Action Plan identifies ways the City of St. Catharines can support the development of more affordable housing including zoning, incentives for new construction, faster approvals and more. It’s about finding innovative solutions and working with the development community to help reduce the affordable housing wait list.
- Working with other levels of government to make sure St. Catharines and Niagara Region gets a fair share of funding for housing. The federal and provincial governments have both committed to affordable housing. Working with Niagara Region, we will work together to make sure housing providers and new projects get the funds needed.
- Investing in new affordable housing. As Mayor, I will advocate for City Council to invest in affordable housing as part of our community infrastructure.
Public transit is a critical part of city-building. It’s important to get people to school, work, health care and social services. Transit is also important for attracting jobs and economic development. That’s why the cities of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland are working together with Niagara Region to create an integrated transit system that serves the entire region. Through the Linking Niagara committee we are improving schedules, routes and expanding services. With daily GO train service coming, transit will provide a direct link to the GTHA.
Read more about how we’re working together to improve transit:
- Inter-municipal Transit Working Group
- Niagara Transit Service and Governance Strategy (“the Dillon report”)
- Increasing the 2018 budget for St. Catharines transit by 6.6%
A Changing City Hall
With more than 600 employees, the City of St. Catharines staff are often on the front lines of community service. Through training and development, we are working to build awareness and understanding of poverty, homelessness and mental health so they are informed and able to respond.
We are working together to build a culture of compassion and customer service from within the City of St. Catharines and into the community.
- “It’s about corporate training and development based on the concept of building from within. We have 600-plus employees that we can train and build awareness with… They touch every part of our community and if they have the confidence and resources when they’re out and see some of the cues, they can try to mitigate the condition in which some of these people are living.” More from Niagara This Week