Chernushenko: In Ottawa, transit and equitable development must be city council priorities

By David Chernushenko, Ottawa Citizen, October 15, 2018

Twin crises are reaching the breaking point. A crisis of housing affordability and availability for the most vulnerable; and a climate crisis – with social and economic costs to all.

More than 40,000 families do not have housing they can afford, and too often it is mouldy and leaky. Today’s stock is not always located where employment, transit and basic shopping needs can be easily accessed. The “housing poor” are now also “transportation poor,” “energy poor” and living in “food deserts.”

We live in a world of cascading storms, flooding, forest destruction, crop loss and financial costs in the trillions. Mass migration is a reality. Thousands will want to come to wealthy cities like ours.

What are we doing to be ready? Not enough. But we can and must – beginning by making the links between housing, transportation, climate and migration challenges. We must increase the stock of healthy, energy-efficient, affordable housing and reduce emissions across the city, notably from existing buildings and transportation.

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