Council and Staff Housing Crisis Meeting July 11th
Mayor Cam Guthrie stated that the upcoming meeting, referred to as an orientation and educational workshop, will serve as the initial step among several others in addressing the housing crisis. The purpose of this meeting is to inform participants about the actions taken by the city thus far and explore the potential avenues for future actions.
In their determined efforts to tackle the housing crisis, Guelph city council and staff have scheduled a special meeting for next Tuesday, marking the initial phase of a comprehensive action plan, according to Mayor Cam Guthrie.
An orientation and education workshop will take place on July 11 at 7 p.m., primarily intended for council members and staff. However, the meeting will be live-streamed, allowing interested community members to observe the proceedings from their homes.
The workshop aims to bring everyone up to speed on the ongoing measures undertaken by staff, council, and the County of Wellington to address the housing crisis. It will also serve as an opportunity for staff and council to brainstorm additional strategies and explore the possibility of expediting actions, as stated by Mayor Guthrie.
Attaining a collective understanding will be instrumental in determining the subsequent steps required to address the housing crisis, Mayor Guthrie emphasized. He acknowledged that solutions will not solely emerge from within staff and council but also from the community itself. The mayor encouraged community members to contribute their thoughts and ideas by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, he assured that there would be additional opportunities for community input beyond the workshop, prior to making decisions on the 2024 to 2027 budget.
Mayor Guthrie highlighted the significance of exchanging ideas among council members and staff to identify potential actions within their jurisdiction. He emphasized the pressing challenges, such as homelessness, the need for increased supportive and affordable housing, the utilization of available land for accommodating growth, and the necessity of additional staff in planning and building departments to expedite housing-related applications, customer service, and inquiries.
With the impending budget discussions in the fall, Mayor Guthrie acknowledged the complex task of simultaneously maintaining essential services and addressing the housing crisis. He expressed the need for financial investments and tough decisions regarding potential pauses, halts, or deferments in the budget to address the crisis. While recognizing the challenges ahead, he expressed his support for the chosen path and envisioned a positive outcome through effective storytelling by staff and the council’s collective focus on making crucial decisions in the upcoming months.