Top News

Charlottetown mayor expects proposed housing policy to be developed very soon

Clifford Lee, shown in this April 11, 2018 photo, has been mayor of Charlottetown since 2003, making him the longest serving mayor in Charlottetown history.
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee is shown in this April 11, 2018 photo. - Dave Stewart

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says the city will soon take a step toward addressing the issue of affordable housing for youth.

“I expect a proposed policy will be going to city council in the very near future for adoption to clearly outline the role the city can and will play in providing subsidized affordable housing in this city,’’ Lee said at a press conference at City Hall on Thursday where the city’s youth retention advisory board released the findings of a survey it did earlier this year on affordable housing.

Lee suggested tax forgiveness and rezoning as two ways the city could help.

“If we’re able to provide tax incentiveness to attract businesses into our community then certainly we can provide subsidies to help those in our community that are the most vulnerable and in most need.’’

Related: Charlottetown youth advisory board survey shows many paying too much for housing

The province recently announced that it will spend $17 million over the next two years to create 1,000 affordable housing units.

Zac Murphy, a member of the city’s youth board, said it’s a great first step.

“We need to make sure there is an ongoing commitment and long-term planning done,’’ Murphy said.

When it comes to rezoning, Lee spoke about the NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude and said that simply won’t fly.

“For some reason, when we go out there and start talking about rezoning property to accommodate affordable social housing everybody wants it but nobody wants it in my backyard,’’ Lee said, adding that it will take political leadership to get it past that point.

“If we’re really serious about dealing with this then we need to be able to go out there and tell people it’s not a negative thing for your neighbourhood. There are all kinds of social/affordable housing buildings in the city today that you wouldn’t know (by driving by). It’s not a nasty thing.’’

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Recent Stories