Volume 93, Issue 78

Thursday, February 17, 2000


White Paper talks reveal concerns

Breast cancer study pays off

Research projects rake in funds

Harris speaks out on gun control

City task force targets housing

Gas prices lead to finger pointing

Internet use decreases social interaction


Caught on campus

City task force targets housing

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

According to a City task force, affordable housing is a growing problem in London which needs to be addressed.

A public forum on affordable housing was held on Tuesday to discuss the problem, said Susan Eagle, co-chair of the task force.

London's deputy mayor, Anne Marie DeCicco, said the task force was assembled to investigate the problem and make recommendations.

Some of their research, released during the meeting, illustrated alarming numbers. Over 3,000 households, including 1,600 children, are on the waiting lists to find affordable housing, Eagle said.

"We recognize that affordable housing is an issue that we, the municipalities, need to deal with," DeCicco said, adding it would be premature to discuss what the City could do since the task force has not yet given city council their final report.

Shelley Milos, executive director of the London Housing Registry, said she was pleased with the turnout at Tuesday's meeting. "We have to do something quickly," she said, adding the City is taking notice of the homeless problem in London. "The city has to take an active role.

"Everything is going up except [people's] pay," Milos said of the costs of living versus wages. She added it was difficult to get a job without adequate housing.

Remodelling existing vacant buildings into affordable housing could help this problem, Milos added. "I really feel there is a need to help these people," she said.

Aaron Stilson, an information clerk at the Housing Information Centre in London, said the waiting lists for affordable housing were too long. For a one bedroom apartment, the wait is approximately 2 years and there are about 300 people on the list, he said.

"The city should acquire more properties to create more affordable housing."

Eagle said although no date has been set, the task force hopes to have their report ready for city council some time over the next few months.

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