Hamilton residents urge city to force affordable housing on the LRT route Pi News

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The Hamilton City Council’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) subcommittee met for the first time on Monday after nearly five years, urging residents to ensure affordable housing is included in construction projects on the transport corridor.

A handful of delegates to the group with ACORN, a tenant organization, called for a zoning policy that would require lower cost units in new buildings.

Marnie Schurter, Mountain co-chair of ACORN, said the group wanted a “bold” policy with at least 40 percent affordability in all apartments and apartments around the 14-kilometer route.

It wants to launch another product without having to worry about the Commission instituting various actions under antitrust law. ”

Speakers on behalf of the Hamilton Community Benefits Network have acquired assets to make way for Metrolinx LRT, relocated about 150 people and eliminated approximately 61 “deep affordable or market price rents”.

Environment Hamilton also put pressure on the inclusive zone, with Ian Porsche saying affordable housing is important to ensure all Hamiltonians have access to transportation.

The organization teamed up with the McMaster Sociology class to look at demographic data around the city’s traffic, and found that many low-income families lived where it was available.

“In the end we have to choose an LRT that will serve new residents, pay significantly higher for rent and apartments, but can already serve people living in these neighborhoods,” he said.

Councilors have heard that the city is currently considering an admission zone rule that is expected to be created in 2023.

But lawyers who spoke at the subcommittee said it could be too late to make an impact.

Ward 3 Gown. Nrinder Nann echoed that concern, worrying that waiting a year would mean a “missed opportunity”. He asked staff if growth could be accelerated.

During a meeting of the Light Rail Transport Subcommittee on May 16, 2022, this makeup was shown to councilors on the 14-kilometer LRT route, which includes 17 stops. (Contributed by the City of Hamilton)

Jason Thorne, city general manager for planning and economic development, said while some basic work towards a rule is underway, priorities still need to be developed and the rental market analysis needs to be done, both of which will take time.

The zone needs to include affordable housing funded by other units in a project, so the trick is to observe the market and find the “sweet spot” it can offer.

2023 is “a very aggressive deadline, given the nature and amount of work that needs to be done,” Thorne said.

“I do not see that law can go before the House any sooner than that.”

There are no plans for a ‘park-and-ride’ lot

The subcommittee also received a couple of updates from the city’s LRT director, Abdul Shaikh, who said major construction of the project is expected to begin in 2024.

Some of the initial work will begin soon, including plans to relocate water service around the project and build three water mines, one at Wentworth, the other at Sherman, and one at Rosewood and Maine.

Sheikh said Metrolinx has so far purchased 60 of the 90 properties needed to build the LRT and has demolished 30 buildings so far.

Ward 12 Gown. Lloyd Ferguson, who represents Oncoster, questioned the director on how to restrict access to Highway 403 to the west if King Street was reduced to one lane, which would force some residents to “zig-zag”.

The councilor asked if there were any plans to park the vehicle for those coming from outside downtown and then boarded the train, saying it was a move he had seen in other cities.

Brian Hollingworth, director of the city’s traffic, planning and parking lot, said no “park-and-ride” space was planned at the end of the line.

Ferguson called the LRT “not practical” and warned that if people could not easily get in and out of the center, the city’s businesses, theaters and restaurants could be affected.

“I think you’re creating a terrible problem. No one has a solution.”