June 25, 2019 5:18 pm

London housing agencies seek nearly $500m in additional funding

A London and Middlesex Community Housing apartment building at 241 Simcoe St. in London, Ont.

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A pair of organizations focused on affordable housing are asking the city to shell out millions in additional funding.

The requests came by way of two reports issued to London’s strategic priorities and policy committee on Monday.

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

The biggest request comes from London and Middlesex Community Housing (LMCH) which is seeking $456 million over the next 10 years — a request that’s double the amount asked for in 2017.

The multi-million-dollar ask was detailed in an annual report from the LMCH, which added that $60 million of the funding is needed urgently in order to address issues that severely impact the operation of the LMCH’s buildings as well as the daily lives of its tenants.

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LMCH CEO Josh Browne says the $60 million would cover things such as elevators and life and safety systems.

“When they go down, these are things that we have to respond to,” Browne said.

“We cannot leave people in units without heat, without water, without life and safety equipment being active and functioning well.”

READ MORE: ‘London for All’ community plan reports strides in addressing local poverty

Browne added that he recognizes the sum is a big request, but said he wants to ensure there are no surprises for the city.

“Let’s start having conversations about how do we close that gap,” Browne said.

According to the report, the average age of the LMCH’s buildings is 50 years.

READ MORE: Ottawa providing $4.9 million for downtown London affordable housing project

Also seeking a financial helping hand was the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The request can be found in a report from the HDC which wants to see the corporation’s annual $2.2 million in municipal funding jump to about $8.2 million by 2023.

The additional funding would help create 3,000 new affordable housing units that the report said are needed in London.

Both financial requests will go before city council on Tuesday.

— With files from Devon Peacock and Craig Needles.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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