June 6, 2017 6:54 am

London Mayor Matt Brown to ask feds for social housing assistance

London Mayor Matt Brown at city hall on Monday, June 5, 2017.

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The ongoing state of social housing in London was raised at a committee meeting Monday, prompting a recommendation for the mayor to pen a letter to the federal government.

The city says there’s a critical need for funding to provide social housing and keep up with maintenance and repairs to its current inventory of affordable housing.

READ MORE: LMHC says $223M needed to maintain public housing in London

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“We know that the federal government announced $11.2 billion in investment over the next 10 or so years, but it really is the question of how do we get that money flowing to where it needs to be,” said Brown.

“In London, we have a housing crisis. We have, in many cases, approximately a one per cent vacancy rate, which seems like an opportunity for housing, but much of the stock that’s available would be classed as luxury apartments and unaffordable for most people’s budgets.”

Brown asked councillors at the community and protective services committee meeting to recommend he write a letter to the federal government as they seek funding solutions. The mayor’s letter will include the urgent need for new housing in London and ask when funding can be expected.

“What are you doing to follow through and when can we hear?” asked Brown.

“It’s a crisis today, it’s going to get worse moving forward, and we really need tangible numbers and answers right now.”

READ MORE: City council approves $1.6M for affordable housing in London

Last month the London and Middlesex Housing Corporation raised the alarm at city hall, advising councillors that $223 million was needed to maintain public housing conditions.

“We know that in many cases some of our housing is in deplorable conditions and in desperate need of capital investment, and we also know that there is not enough,” said Brown.

The wait list for social housing is up to around 2,800 applications.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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