Affordable housing is defined as rent that is 80% of the average market rent. A few years ago, Kingston had one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, meaning that finding a place to rent was a challenge, to say the least. Increasing the supply of affordable housing in Kingston was one of the biggest issues when I was first elected to city council, and it remains a critical social issue for our community today.
It comes down to a simple matter of supply and demand: Kingston’s prestigious post-secondary schools mean that there is a high demand for rental properties. There are also many seniors and lower income families who need affordable housing. This demand combined with the limited supply has resulted in an increase in the cost of housing.
Over the last few years, things have changed for the better. In fact, this council has put procedures and policies in place that have seen the vacancy rate rise over 3%. Of course, there is still a lot of room to grow. Check out this episode of ‘Ask Me Anything’ to hear more on my thoughts on affordable housing in Kingston – and thanks to Marg for the question!