Ontario is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. The dream of home ownership is now increasingly out of reach for the next generation seeking to enter the housing market. In Windsor-Essex, we’ve seen local prices skyrocket during the pandemic. The average price of a home is up over 34% so far this year, and that’s on top of a similar increase in 2020. This past year, our community has benefitted from significant Provincial funding associated with housing as we have collectively responded to the pandemic and as such, we’ve been able to move forward with significant accomplishments associated with our Housing Master Plan. As we look to the future, we know we need to continue to take a robust approach to address affordability issues facing Ontario families.

I applaud Minister Clark and Premier Ford for showing leadership and convening experts, community activists, municipal leaders and private sector developers to find a path towards a more affordable and sustainable future. Communities like Windsor stand to benefit from today’s announcement. Resolving housing affordability is going to require partnerships between the Province and municipalities and a recognition that there’s no “silver bullet”. Policies that encourage density, where appropriate, infill and brownfield redevelopments and urban renewal need to be considered hand-in-hand with reducing the regulatory burden on private developers, increasing land supply and dramatically speeding up the permitting and approvals process. As Mayor, I’m committed to doing my part and I’m looking forward to the action plan that will result from next month’s Summit.

-Mayor Drew Dilkens