Stratford Affordable Housing Alliance

PCSH are grateful for the support of ally organizations in Stratford and Perth County

ABOUT US:  We are a burgeoning group of concerned Stratford activists and residents, collaborating with local advocacy groups, housing experts and other organizations to create Proportionally Mixed Income (PMI) Affordable Housing in Stratford. We believe, in keeping with Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) Act, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25), that suitable and affordable housing is a human right to which all our residents are entitled. 

OUR PETITION: We are learning about the housing crisis from a uniquely Stratford perspective, and what we learn is shared below. Please consider signing our petition to City Council; we believe it requests actions that will go a long way to solving our affordability and availability problems.

Welcome


Housing is important to all of us

Why have we formed this group?

Many of us are personally impacted by Stratford’s soaring housing costs and have real “skin in the game”. Housing is critically important for us all. We’ve been struggling to meaningfully engage the City on creating housing that people can really afford.

Who are we trying to reach in our community?
We want to organize with other community members, organizations, housing experts and providers who have the same goal – pooling our skills and knowledge – so we can effectively collaborate with the City in creating a sustainably affordable housing plan that accommodates people across the whole spectrum of household incomes in Stratford.

What is our plan?
We’re petitioning City Council to work with us in creating and implementing a Proportionally Mixed Income (PMI) Affordable Housing Plan, that centres Community Land Trusts (CLTs) as a way to keep publicly-owned land controlled by our community and the costs of our homes protected from arbitrary fluctuations in the market. Read our petition and learn more about CLTs on our main page.

How can you help?
We are much stronger as a collective mass of voters. We welcome your voice at the table.

 

 

Subscribe to our email list

to be notified of our next Community Conversation on Affordable Housing and stay updated on our progress:  subscribe here

Speak up for housing

that actually meets our community’s needs by signing our petition.

Niki Andre on affordable housing

Still confused about the definitions of affordable and attainable housing? You're not alone. In this interview with on Stratford Today, Niki Andre of SAHA explains to Peter Maranger why a Community Land Trust is the best solution for fair housing.

Community Land Trust information event

Join the Stratford Affordable Housing Alliance, , Thursday May 23 at the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, ON, from 5:45pm-9pm for our Community Land Trusts (CLT) Information Event: Expert panelists will paint a picture of how Community Land Trusts and...

Discussion on housing

Perth County Sustainability held a roundtable discussion on the housing crisis in June of 2023. You can see that recording here:

It’s a community problem, and we can fix it.

Nicole Andre speaks to Council on the burden of the housing crisis on our community.


 Ways you can contribute:

 

Sign up for our newsletter

We will keep you posted on our news, events, and activities. Usually no more than two posts per month.
Sign up here.

Sign our petition

Our petition at the end of this page sets out our plan for meaningful collaboration with the City in a just and viable housing plan.
Go to the petition.

Join us in a delegation

Have more to say?  We’re looking for 10 people from a variety of households across the income spectrum to deliver 1 MINUTE delegations to City Council on how the housing market crisis is impacting you and what you’d like to see change.

Express your interest in collectively delegating by emailing us through the box below. We’ll offer pointers on crafting your delegation and practice delivering our collective delegation at a future Community Conversation.

3 + 1 =

Submit your selfie!

Are you impacted by unaffordable housing prices? We’re collecting pics of concerned residents to use in our social media campaign (see a draft of our video below)   Send us a candid pic of yourself, somewhere in Stratford, with a sign that briefly speaks to your concern e.g. “I can’t afford to live where I work” or “My ‘affordable’ housing isn’t affordable” or “My ___(kids, mom, dad) can’t afford to live in Stratford” 

Submit to affordablestratford@gmail.comSUBJECT: “Selfies for SAHA video”

Slide presentation on community land trusts

Canadian community land trusts (CLTs) have emerged as innovative models of land ownership and management, offering unique solutions to address housing affordability, sustainable development, and community empowerment. A community land trust is a nonprofit organization that acquires and holds land in trust for the benefit of a specific community. CLTs are designed to separate the ownership of land from the ownership of buildings or structures on that land, thereby ensuring that the land remains permanently affordable and accessible to the community.

Community land trusts offer a promising approach to tackling housing affordability and promoting community-driven development. While not yet widespread, their potential impact is significant, and their adoption is likely to increase as more communities and governments recognize the benefits they offer. With government support and active community involvement, CLTs have the capacity to create lasting positive change in Canadian housing markets, providing affordable and sustainable housing options for renters and homeowners alike.

 

While CLTs are gaining traction in Canada, they are not as common as other forms of housing ownership. However, their popularity is growing, particularly in urban centers where housing affordability has become a critical issue. Municipalities and provincial governments have shown interest in supporting CLTs as part of their affordable housing strategies. Government funding, grants, and incentives can help establish and sustain CLTs, enabling them to acquire land and develop housing projects that cater to diverse income levels.

See this excellent student post from the University of Windsor for a historical background, as well as commentary on what is being done in Ontario.

The fundamental principle behind CLTs is to create and maintain affordable housing and other community-oriented spaces by controlling the cost of land. CLTs typically acquire land through donations, purchases, or government grants, and they often collaborate with local governments, philanthropic organizations, and community members. Once the land is under the trust’s ownership, it is leased to individuals or organizations for a nominal fee, under long-term leases. This lease structure limits the resale value of the properties, keeping them affordable for successive generations.

CLTs empower communities by giving them a say in how the land is used, developed, and managed. Local residents often serve on the boards of CLTs, ensuring that decisions align with community needs and values. This participatory approach fosters a sense of ownership, shared responsibility, and community engagement.

One notable example of government support for CLTs in Canada is the National Housing Strategy, introduced by the federal government. This initiative recognizes the potential of CLTs in addressing housing affordability challenges and commits to providing financial support for their development.

Renters can certainly benefit from community land trusts. CLTs provide stable, affordable housing options that can be especially advantageous for renters facing skyrocketing rents and limited options in competitive rental markets. CLTs ensure that rental properties remain affordable over the long term, offering renters more security and predictability in their housing costs. Additionally, renters within CLTs have the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes that affect the management and development of the community, fostering a greater sense of belonging and agency.


Please consider signing our petition to Stratford City Council
Your signed petition will be sent to all councillors. Please include your home address and postal code.  The petition is a public document, and your personal information will be available to the public.

We the undersigned, as Stratford residents and members of Stratford’s workforce, petition Stratford City Council to direct all applicable City staff to meaningfully collaborate with us, to begin development and implementation of a comprehensive and truly affordable housing plan which:

1) in keeping with Stratford’s (current, 2019) Official Plan and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s definition, defines affordable as up to 30 percent of a household’s gross income

2) accommodates all income levels as a Proportionally Mixed Income (PMI) Affordable Housing Plan, designed to provide housing across all incomes.

3) centres on the creation of Community Land Trusts in Stratford.

4) in keeping with Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) Act, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25), ensures suitable and affordable housing as a human right for all our residents.

We are asking Council to commission a comprehensive, publicly accessible inventory of all City-owned land and property and the creation of a land and property bank for the implementation of a PMI Affordable Housing Plan for Stratford prior to any new housing developments being funded or incentivized by the City.

SIGN THE PETITION

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