Mayor's Task Force on Housing

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

The Mayor's Task Force on Housing will provide council with evidence-informed and action-oriented recommendations to increase the supply of a diverse range of housing.

Bringing community stakeholders together to increase housing options

The Feb. 19, 2019 council motion that created this Task Force stated that the need for more housing has been clearly identified as a priority in Kingston. The Task Force was forged with the intent of bringing community stakeholders together to explore all possible tools and incentives the City can offer to enable developers, non-profits and community agencies to build more housing in general – and more affordable

The Mayor's Task Force on Housing will provide council with evidence-informed and action-oriented recommendations to increase the supply of a diverse range of housing.

Bringing community stakeholders together to increase housing options

The Feb. 19, 2019 council motion that created this Task Force stated that the need for more housing has been clearly identified as a priority in Kingston. The Task Force was forged with the intent of bringing community stakeholders together to explore all possible tools and incentives the City can offer to enable developers, non-profits and community agencies to build more housing in general – and more affordable housing in particular.

The Task Force is specifically focused on increasing the supply of all types of housing, including affordable options, but not on the issue of homelessness. Interested in what the City is doing to end chronic homelessness? See our 10-Year Housing & Homelessness Plan and visit our Housing page for service and program details.

Our goal

By the end of 2019, the Mayor's Task Force on Housing will present a coordinated and practical set of recommendations designed to guide council as it makes decisions to address Kingston's housing supply.

See the "Scope" section for more details on the scope of the Task Force.

The Task Force will rely on:

  • Local experience and knowledge in collaboration with key partners,
  • Relevant policies and studies such as the Population, Housing & Employment Projections Study, the Official Plan, and other identified information sources
  • An analysis of the economics of building both market rate and affordable housing in Kingston, commissioned by the Task Force and conducted by a third-party expert.
  • The application of best practices and principles from other cities.

Our work

The work of the Task Force will be to:

  1. Establish a good understanding of the current state of housing in the City of Kingston (housing needs assessment and environmental scan, current and projected housing development, roles and responsibilities of the municipality, developers, not for profits, community agencies and residents)
  2. Examine and determine the barriers to the development of housing in Kingston. This analysis should identify hindrances leading up to approval from City Council, as well as hindrances to construction following City Council approval.
  3. Examine tools and incentives available to the City to stimulate investment in housing from inside and outside our community, enabling developers, not-for-profits and community agencies to build more housing at a faster pace in general and more affordable housing in particular
  4. Focus on recommendations that are applicable across the community, rather than on those specific to intensification in the downtown.
  5. Establish recommendations to increase the supply of a diverse range of housing and complement the 10-Year Housing & Homelessness Plan.
  6. Establish a process to engage and consult the public. The Task Force will consult with business, labour and community groups. The Task Force will also seek input from a broad cross section of the community with a variety of lived experiences seeking housing in Kingston, such as seniors, students, vulnerable populations, immigrants, and young professionals.
  7. Present a final report to Kingston City Council no later than the end of 2019.
  • Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Update: May 14, 2019

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    28 May, 2019

    Task Force meetings

    The Task Force has been meeting bi-weekly at City Hall. Most of the work today involves task force members gaining background knowledge of housing-related issues and work to date. Prior to the meetings, co-chairs meet to discuss items that the group has identified they need more information on.

    Our meetings include a combination of briefings from task force members with particular expertise (ie: costs of construction, public health approach to housing) and presentations from City staff (ie: Planning, Housing and Social Services).

    We have spent the last month refining our work plan and public consultation process. Now that we have finalized some of the key questions that frame our work, we’re getting excited to get out in the community and learn more from residents with all types of experiences with rental housing in Kingston.

    What we have learned so far

    We have learned a lot together so far and have begun to understand and probe some housing issues in our discussion. A few of the areas we have identified as key to the task of recommending options for increasing supply and affordability of housing:

    • Defining the current ‘affordability gap’ in Kingston – meaning, the current CMHC definition of affordability is deemed too expensive for residents and current costs of construction for affordable units are deemed too expensive for. What is this gap and how can the City play a role in closing it?
    • How can the City achieve a 3 per cent vacancy rate and sustain it?
    • What are the other comparator communities doing to achieve greater supply and affordability of housing?

    Next steps

    Our next meeting will include a presentation on the work of the Housing and Homelessness Plan as it is in the midst of a 5 year review. We will discuss how the work relates to ours and how we might combine our efforts at various stages. We are also preparing for our first set of Open Houses – scheduled for early June.