top of page

If Trudeau wants to fix housing, London is a good place to start

As Canada faces an ongoing housing crisis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is searching for solutions to address the affordability and availability of housing. One place that could hold valuable lessons for the Prime Minister's housing strategy is the vibrant city of London. With its own unique housing challenges and innovative policies, London offers a compelling case study for Trudeau's efforts to fix housing nationwide.

London, Ontario, is no stranger to housing challenges. Similar to major Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto, London has experienced soaring housing prices, making it increasingly difficult for residents, especially first-time homebuyers, to enter the market. A lack of affordable housing options has led to rising rental costs, pushing many families to the brink of financial instability.

One of the standout features of London's approach to housing is its innovative policies aimed at improving affordability. The city has implemented inclusionary zoning policies, which require developers to include a percentage of affordable housing units in their projects. This strategy has not only increased the supply of affordable homes but has also promoted socioeconomic diversity within neighborhoods.

Additionally, London has actively invested in creating mixed-use developments, which combine residential and commercial spaces, reducing the need for lengthy commutes and decreasing congestion. This approach aligns with Trudeau's vision of more sustainable and connected communities.

London has also taken proactive steps to combat homelessness, which is an integral part of the broader housing crisis. The city's Housing First program prioritizes providing stable housing for homeless individuals and then offering support services, such as mental health and addiction treatment. This holistic approach has made significant strides in reducing homelessness in the city and could serve as a model for Trudeau's government.

Prime Minister Trudeau can draw essential lessons from London's housing initiatives. Implementing inclusionary zoning policies at the federal level, encouraging the development of mixed-use communities, and adopting a Housing First approach for homelessness could be part of a comprehensive strategy to address Canada's housing crisis.

However, it is essential to consider that London's success is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Canada's housing crisis varies by region, with different challenges in urban and rural areas. Trudeau should work collaboratively with provincial and municipal governments to tailor policies that suit each area's specific needs.

In conclusion, if Trudeau wants to fix housing, London provides a valuable starting point. By studying the city's innovative policies, the Prime Minister can gain insights into effective strategies to address Canada's housing crisis. While not a panacea, London's experiences can inform a comprehensive and adaptable approach that will benefit Canadians across the country. It is now up to Trudeau and his government to translate these lessons into concrete actions that will bring much-needed relief to Canadians struggling with housing affordability and availability.