Ward 10 — Taylor Houston
Our Rating — Green
Taylor answered a resounding yes to five out of six questions. Taylor believes that Ottawa needs more housing, including missing middle options and inclusionary zoning, and that the city may require even more than the economist-recommended 100,000 homes in the next ten years. While Taylor is not necessarily against mandatory parking requirements, he understands that R1 zoning (exclusive zoning for single family homes) is a barrier and that the city needs to consider the needs of all stakeholders in addition to local community homeowners. We support Taylor Houstoun as a pro-housing candidate in Ward 10 – Gloucester-Southgate.
Q1: Do you support reforms that would make our zoning policies more simple, permissive, with an explicit goal of fixing our housing shortage, creating 15 minute walkable neighbourhoods, and building missing middle housing city-wide?
Yes to all of the above.
Q2: Do you support a target of 100,000 new homes in Ottawa in the next 10 years? This is the number that leading housing economists agree we need to build in order to restore housing affordability in our city. Our current Official Plan target is just 75,000 — far short of where we need to be.
Fully. I actually think we may need more, especially if we begin to draw people from outside Ottawa. I suspect Ottawa will be a bit of a boom town.
Q3: Do you agree we need to fix public consultations so that more voices are heard, and so they consider the benefits of projects to the people who will live in new homes — not just existing homeowners?
Yes I do. Consultation processes should involve all stakeholders, including ones who will benefit in the future. That being said, hypothetical future residents shouldn’t have a disproportionately outsized voice or anything like that.
Q4: Do you support ending mandatory parking minimums for new developments so that builders can decide if they want to build transit-friendly communities around transit stations?
Not necessarily. This works well at first, but as people age in place and attempt not to leave their homes (standard human behaviour) all sorts of issues to this plan arise when people become either old or disabled enough to physically need to drive. It also doesn’t accommodate changing family dynamics – a 6 child family with infants often won’t be taking transit. Real life is messy and won’t follow the plan, which means it needs to be accommodated for.
A better solution would be to look into what type of parking can be constructed. Ideally, we don’t want giant above-ground lots. But having a city, or development plan for parking garages and/or subterranean parking (which makes sense for engineering reasons on taller buildings) would kill two birds with one proverbial stone.
Q5: Do you support a win-win inclusionary zoning plan that asks developers to include affordable housing in their developments, in exchange for lower fees, faster approvals, or more density?
As needed, yes in its entirety! If possible though, I would prefer the city simply set the terms of development in a more confrontational and assertive way. The nice thing about a free market is that someone will compete and you will, in many cases, be able to have your cake and eat it too.
Q6: Will you ask the next Mayor and Council to invest in building deeply affordable housing in your ward and take a leadership role in reducing waitlists and repair backlogs for social housing across the city?
For waitlists and backlogs, yes entirely! For deeply affordable housing, also yes, provided it is in new-construct neighbourhoods. Existing neighbourhoods would need to be done on a per-neighbourhood basis to find out what is right for said neighbourhood.
Q7: Do you support ending exclusionary R1 zoning rules that keep renters, students, and working class families out of neighbourhoods in the name of “protecting neighbourhood character”?
Yes I do, and I think there is a lot of room to adjust zoning practices in the next council.