I witnessed first hand through my own children’s experience at McMaster the challenges of student housing and the impact this had on personal safety and security. Offset this with the impact student housing had on established neighbourhoods and you compound the problems.
I support and will advocate for the recommendations of MSU and others with respect to a licensing bylaw for all rental properties that puts health and safety regulations in place and are monitored and enforced on an ongoing basis, with substantial fines to address absentee substandard landlords. This initiative must include protections for those that report infractions and substandard/absentee landlords i.e. a ‘whistle-blower’ provision.
I’ve served on condo boards and have a background in property management. I welcome Hamilton’s growth and ability to attract from outside, and I am very concerned that housing will continue to be affordable and safe to all.
I support innovative urban designs as an alternative to traditional housing space and I support mixed-use development (business, residential, entertainment, etc.) with a clear understanding that mixed-use historically comes at a premium, which means we also need to address affordability and inclusive access to those from multiple levels of income and background.
Providing for such integration requires that we look at taxpayer and/or alternative funding options for those least able to become part of such communities solely on their own.
There will always be those that on the surface claim to support infill and intensification initiatives as long as they are “not in my back yard”. I believe we need to, as part of the education process, help reassure residents that such development will respect and apply safe, green technologies, which are not only good for the environment, but provide assurances to residents that re-development protects Ward 1’s vibrant green spaces and wetlands, including those green spaces within all four main Ward 1 neighborhoods.
I believe such development should continue to occur in the Ward’s remaining brownfields where and if safe, and that it be mixed-use. Council will also need to explore further re-development of sections of the Main Street West corridor and adjacent lands.