Housing, Land and Communities Mandate Letter
Honourable Rob Lantz
Minister of Housing, Land and Communities
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Dear Minister Lantz,
I am pleased to have you serve as the Minister of Housing, Land and Communities.
On April 3, 2023, we were given a mandate by Islanders to continue to work towards building a brighter, bolder, and better future for our province. We made a commitment to work with Islanders, and for Islanders – and that motto should be the basis of how you conduct yourself in your actions as Minister. We must engage Islanders, have real conversations, and put the interest of Islanders at the heart of every decision we make as a government.
Over the last four years we have proven to Islanders that we can navigate many challenges. We must continue to show courage, strength and above all else, leadership when it comes to the challenges we are faced with. Change is sometimes difficult, but with your proven ability to stand up and meet challenges head-on, I’m confident that you will make the best decisions to move our province forward.
Our government has always led with positivity and has served with humility and kindness. I expect this to continue in our second mandate. We have shifted the political landscape in PEI to be more collaborative in nature. I have always said, it doesn’t matter where good ideas come from – if it’s a good idea, and it improves the lives of Islanders – we should consider it. I want you to have regular communication with your legislative colleagues on all sides of the Legislature to provide opportunities for input and feedback.
As Minister, you and your leadership team will play a critical role in contributing to the commitments we have made to Islanders. You are responsible for the conduct of the department you oversee and must be aware and adhere to the values of the public service in your interactions with the Islanders and the public service. Most importantly, you have Cabinet Colleagues that serve alongside of you; whenever and wherever possible, you should work collaboratively with them to break down silos and reduce barriers to accessing services by working together across Departments.
As Minister of Housing, Land and Communities, you will:
- Increase the Seniors Safe at Home grant program to $15,000;
- Increase the Seniors Home Repair grant program to $8,000;
- Launch a low-income home repair grant to provide up to $3,500 per year to assist low-income homeowners with essential upgrades;
- Provide $25 Million Infrastructure Fund to municipalities and regional development corporations to work with communities outside the capital area to develop construction-ready lots for Islanders to purchase and use for modular builds;
- Continue to invest in public housing with the goal of eliminating the housing registry within the next 24 months;
- Create opportunities for Tiny Home Communities in rural PEI where Islanders can purchase and build equity instead of paying rent;
- Lead the work of the Cabinet Committee on Housing to find ways to increase housing starts on PEI to return to a vacancy rate of 3%;
- Launch a Closing Cost Housing Support Program to provide first-time home buyers with up to $2,500 towards closing costs of purchasing their first home;
- Provide support, mentorship, and financing to establish new cooperative housing complexes across the province by working with communities, non-profits, and regional development corporations so tenants have authority and input into the operation of their buildings;
- Provide support and mentoring services to co-operatives and non-profit organizations to build housing;
- Working closely with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, leverage opportunities for federal infrastructure funding to assist in increasing the housing supply on PEI;
- Working with the Minister of Health and Wellness create a plan for a Charlottetown-based dedicated site to provide wrap-around services for vulnerable Islanders, including but not limited to Community Outreach Centre, supportive housing, housing that fosters independent living, harm reduction programs, social supports, and training programs;
- Develop PEI’s first strategic Land Use Plan to guide the sustainable development and protection of the island's land resources, incorporating considerations such as environmental conservation, economic development, social well-being, and agricultural needs;
- Develop a stronger, more equitable funding formula for all municipalities;
- Expand shared services programs for municipalities by introducing new initiatives that promote collaboration, innovation, and cost savings, such as joint procurement and cooperative service delivery arrangements;
- Working with the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade, launch a Rent-To-Own program with financing options through government so that Islanders have the opportunity to purchase a home after renting;
- Increase the Housing Challenge Fund by $50 Million providing developers with 2% financing for quick-start housing projects which will add at least another 250 units to the housing inventory;
- Introduce Instant Building Permits where permits can be instantly issued during an appointment with a multi-disciplinary team for straight-forward, routine building permits; and
- Reduce routine building permit wait times down to a maximum of 30 days by the end of 2023.
While you accomplish your work, I ask that you assess the impacts of each policy decision by using evidence-based tools and frameworks to ensure we always consider the impacts on climate, gender, diversity, and vulnerable individuals before implementing a decision.
As we progress through our mandate, we will work together to identify further refinement and priorities of focus. We must be nimble as a government and be able to adapt to the realities of what Islanders are facing each and every day. To do this, I ask that you have regular outreach with key stakeholders connected to your department and the work that your department does. Along with the leadership in your department, I ask that you regularly communicate with stakeholders and community organizations.
I look forward to working with you to improve the lives of all Islanders.
Hon. Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island
CC. Jamie MacDonald, Deputy Minister – Department of Housing, Land and Communities