Affordability and Housing Crisis
Guelph is currently ranked the 10th most expensive place in Canada to live.
According to The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average price of homes sold in July 2022 was $909,691, increasing by 6.9% from July 2021. Guelph’s rental market ranked as the seventh-most expensive in the country, as the average cost of a one-bedroom is costing tenants $1,714 per month, according to a report from Rentals.ca. As a buyer, seller, or renter, those numbers are worrisome and with so much uncertainty in 2022, that may not be changing anytime soon.
From mortgage rates surge and policies changing constantly, to city bylaws, property taxes and more, there are countless factors that affect the market nationally and locally. As a professional in this field I'm in tune with this dynamic environment.
The recent survey found that 270 people experience housing insecurity in Wellington County, including Guelph, accounting for 161 adults and 24 children. People experiencing homelessness are often affected by mental health problems or struggling with addiction. They often feel excluded from a community, alone and forgotten. We need to change that. We need to create programs supporting the most vulnerable members, with rent subsidies, mediate with landlords, help with income. We need to work with local experts on preventative measures that can impact and reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness.
As a Guelph resident and father of two little girls, I'm very proud that Guelph is one of the most environmentally sustainable cities in Canada, so sustainable, that it's often used as a model for other cities. Guelph Community Energy Initiative is focusing on reducing the city's carbon footprint and choosing renewable and clean energy for all city's facilities, fleet and operations. I will support green initiatives and work with local politicians and companies to achieve that.
Transit and Road Safety
Transit is the easiest way to combat pollution and Guelph traffic congestion issues, but for people to use it, it has to be safe, reliable and convenient. I will advocate for additional funding from the provincial and federal government to support all day go trains from Toronto to Kitchener/Waterloo with a stop in Guelph. I will also work to create an annual ticket for seniors, allowing them to travel at a lower cost.
According to a 2020 report for the City of Guelph: “Many Guelph neighbourhoods face traffic and speeding issues. Transportation engineering staff receive approximately 1-2 road safety related concerns daily. Many of these concerns focus on speeding in local neighbourhoods,” I'm planning to tackle this issues by installing additional speed bumpers, stop signs and speed cameras.
Covid-19 pandemic-related lockdowns, school closures and family conflicts have caused increases in mental health problems in children and teens. Now more than ever, we need a mental health strategy easily accessible in schools. I will advocate with the provincial and federal governments to create local programs that can help.