Fears affordable housing increases crime fails to stop new apartments
LONDON, ONT. -- Resolving London’s housing crisis will require neighbourhoods across the city to accept new infill developments of affordable units.
On Monday, City Hall’s Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) considered three affordable housing projects that would create a total of 147 units within 3 low-rise apartment buildings.
- 403 Thompson Road (4 storey, 44 units)
- 122 Baseline Road (4 storeys, 61 units)
- 345 Sylvan Street (3 storeys, 42 units)
Several residents from the Glen Cairn neighbourhood spoke against the development on Thompson Rd., arguing they already have a disproportionate amount of public housing in their area of the city.
Representing some nearby condominium owners, one woman said, “We are not saying every person in affordable housing is a criminal or unsavoury, however, our personal experiences carry a lot of weight as to the correlation between affordable housing and crime.”
“They’re not someone to be afraid of,” replied Councillor Shawn Lewis, who pushed back against the neighbourhood’s resistance.
Councillor Stephen Turner admitted spending a lot of time dispelling myths about the two buildings proposed in Ward 11.
“This s needed housing within the city,” Turner told the committee. “And it is quite welcome within my ward.”
In separate decisions, the planning committee recommended that all three apartment buildings move ahead.
It was just last month during his state of the city address, that mayor Ed holder committed to create 3,000 new affordable housing units in just five years.
On Feb. 16, during his State of the City Address, Mayor Ed Holder committed to create 3,000 new affordable housing units in just five years.
Addressing the housing crisis will see many more London neighbourhoods expected to welcome affordable housing.
“I don’t think there’s any area, or any ward, where we aren’t seeing affordable housing developed,” added PEC Chair Councillor Phil Squire.
And Squire rejects any argument that building affordable housing leads to more crime.
“The challenges (with crime) we have in areas of the city aren’t related to affordable housing, they’re related to greater social problems.”
Council will consider the three developments at its March 23 meeting.