Housing action plan to address present and future needs
Supporting Island families -
Meeting the housing needs of all Islanders – now and into the future – is the goal of the provincial government’s new housing action plan.
Developed with a team of housing experts, a housing supply task force, and extensive engagement with Islanders, the Housing Action Plan for Prince Edward includes items that will be immediately acted upon this year. It focuses on five goals: availability; affordability; sustainable communities; collaboration; and leadership.
“Housing is a priority for our government and we know that a clear vision, strong leadership, innovative actions, and collaboration are needed to meet housing needs across the province,” said Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy. “This plan lays out the steps we are taking to improve housing options for Islanders and provides a clear path to achieving our goals by working with all partners, including communities, municipalities, developers, landlords and the private sector.”
In addition to the immediate targets for 2018-2019, the housing action plan also includes medium and long term targets for 2019- 2023 guided by the following vision:
'All Islanders have timely access to safe, accessible, appropriate, and affordable housing that meets the diversity of their needs and maximizes their ability to be healthy, productive, and successful.'
“Government focuses investments on what matters most to Islanders and we know that all departments across government must be involved in the priority area of housing,” said Finance Minister Heath MacDonald. “I am very pleased to serve as chair on the Cabinet Committee on Housing and I look forward to partnering with all levels of government, community organizations and the private sector on this important initiative.”
Here are priority areas of the housing action plan for immediate action
Immediately increase housing supply by creating:
- 275 affordable housing units –available fiscal 2018/19 (part of the 1,000 new units over the next four years);
- 74 new seniors units: 44 in Charlottetown; 30 in Summerside –available spring 2019;
- up to 10 new transitional housing units to support victims of family violence and for children who have aged out of the province’s child protection services – available spring 2019;
- 10 transitional housing units to support Islanders with mental health needs as they transition back into community life – available fall 2018;
- 100 new private nursing home beds to further improve access to long- term care for Island seniors --50 available October 2018; 50 by June 2019.
Collaborative initiatives with communities:
- create a Housing Navigator to help guide and connect Islanders to the right housing services and supports – fall 2018;
- create a Tenant Outreach Worker to help connect current social housing tenants to services if they need additional supports to remain independent – fall 2018;
- work together with municipalities who are responsible for zoning and regulations to better support housing development and capacity in all regions of the Island – fall 2018;
- implement the $3 million Community Housing Fund announced in government’s 2018/19 budget through engagement and collaboration with community partners to deliver innovative housing solutions – beginning fall 2018.
- create an affordable housing loan fund for developers to build and maintain affordable housing units – fall 2018;
- create a down payment assistance program for eligible modest income Islanders to get an interest free, repayable loan of up to five percent of the purchase price of a home for a down payment – fall 2018.
Leadership to oversee implementation of actions:
- establish a Cabinet Committee on Housing consisting of ministers of Finance (chair); Family and Human Services; Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy; and Community, Land and Environment to lead government’s approach to the supply of affordable housing, market development, analysis and innovation – August 2018;
- create a Housing Council consisting of community partners selected through Engage PEI process and chaired by the deputies of Finance and Family of Human Services to support the work of the cabinet committee, manage the Community Housing Fund, and provide direction to the housing hub – fall 2018;
- establish a Housing Hub led by a Special Advisor for Housing and Infrastructure and consisting of members from government, community organizations and municipalities to implement the housing action plan, report on progress, monitor market trends, and provide support to housing partners- fall 2018.