Ward 24 — Richard Garrick
Our Rating: Green Light
Richard Garrick met with Make Housing Affordable and we had a very positive discussion about the future of housing in Ottawa and in Ward 24.
He has endorsed most of our platform, and while we have some very minor disagreements — specifically around the claim that Ward 24 doesn’t have space for large scale development — we believe he is committed to solving the housing crisis and would work with us collaboratively to implement better housing policies for Ottawa.
We are confident that Richard Garrick will work to make housing affordable as a councillor if elected.
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 neighborhoods, and building missing middle housing city-wide?
Yes, I support reforms that would make zoning more simple. We must work to address the affordable housing issues in our city. This includes the push for 15 minute walkable neighborhoods and looking at new alternative housing like middle housing. We must work to be sensible and sustainable with a vision for our future residents.
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.
Yes, I support a plan for 100,000 new homes in Ottawa in the next 10 years. At the same time we must develop a long-term strategy that also includes plans after the 10 year mark so that we are remaining competitive in our housing market, while making Ottawa a liveable 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?
I think we have seen a major shift in how the general public can engage, including zoom consultations and other digital platforms. As a city we need to ensure as many options are provided for residents to ask questions, raise concerns or even provide their own vision.
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?
This is something that I am interested in pursuing but have concerns when it comes to accessible parking or parking for other vulnerable populations. Understanding that the end goal is to have developments that align with public transit-friendly communities, I would just want to make sure that all areas are covered and that no one is left behind in the plan moving forward.
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?
I think we need to look at all options on the table that move us closer to achieving our goal of 100,000 homes in 10 years. It is also important that when building these communities that would include affordable housing, community housing or otherwise also have access to transit and other services to make them viable. If this is a motion that gets passed and lower fees or faster approvals are part of the plan, we must make sure that we are being fair and balanced to all who would benefit and that the city is transparent with plans.
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?
Although there is not much room in Ward 24 for large scale developments, we do have the opportunity to use smaller areas for intensification, which presents a possibility for middle use development. This would allow for small business and residential use in our community which is a win-win for our local economy and community.
Q7: Do you support ending exclusionary R1 zoning rules that keep renters, students, and working class families out of neighborhoods in the name of “protecting neighborhood character”?
In regards to ending exclusionary R1 zoning, I believe that this is a viable solution to help with our affordable housing issues. I am willing to look at ending the exclusionary rules with further research and consultation with city staff and community organizations such as yours. We want to make our city a viable place to live, attracting new students to our universities and colleges, adding to our workforce and community. As we look further into these changes and bylaws, we must ensure that the process is fair, transparent and with the best interest of our residents in mind.