Ward 12 — Laura Shantz
Our Rating: Green Light
Laura Shantz was one of the first candidates to meet with Make Housing Affordable and it was a very productive and positive discussion.
When responding to our survey, they supported all 6 Big Moves on Housing and also support an end to exclusionary R1 zoning.
We are confident that Laura Shantz will work to make housing affordable as a councillor.
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?
A1: Yes. I believe that our city needs to update and reform its zoning bylaws. We must ensure that new bylaws are clean, straightforward, and properly aligned with the growth that we want to encourage, specifically, ensuring that we are making our neighbourhoods more walkable and accessible.
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.
A2: Yes. I support the target of building 100,000 new homes in Ottawa in the next ten years. I want to ensure that a significant portion of these are affordable rentals, including housing geared to those needing both market-rate affordable rentals and subsidized units. It is also key to ensure that more family-sized units (2 and 3+ bedrooms) are built in all areas of the city.
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?
Q3: Yes. I want to see the city improve its public consultation process to engage a wider variety of residents and ensure that these consultations reflect the perspectives of both current and future residents. Current consultation mechanisms often feel meaningless for residents, and we need to ensure that participating in a consultation is productive and useful for residents, city staff, and proponents.
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?
A4: I believe that we need to move away from parking minimums, especially near public transit stations. Our new official plan sets us on this path. While I support ending car parking minimums, we still need to ensure storage space for bicycles, scooters, and other active transit options.
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?
A5: Yes. I support inclusionary zoning in all new developments city-wide. I recognize that some incentives will likely be required to make this happen, and will be essential if we want to ensure a meaningful share of affordable units in all new developments. It will also be essential to ensure that these units remain affordable for the long term.
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?
A6: Yes. I want to see deeply affordable housing built in every ward in the city. It is also important to ensure that the affordable housing that we currently have is kept in good repair and that we are maintaining it so that it will last for years to come.
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”?
A7: Yes. I support ending R1 zoning. Ending this zoning will have modest impacts overall as it is not the most common zoning in our neighbourhoods (R4 is very common in Ward 12), but it permits more creative use of existing homes and land and offers options for our increasingly diverse city, such as laneway houses, granny suites, and other creative infills.