Tecumseh's Mayor Pushing For More Affordable Housing

Tecumseh's mayor believes there needs to be more incentive for developers to build affordable housing.

There are currently nearly 4,500 people on the central housing wait list in the region.

Gary McNamara sits on the Windsor Essex County Housing Advisory Committee and says, with the local housing market booming, it's becoming tougher to get builders to commit to affordable housing.

He says there's a major need in both the city and county.

"There's a sector in the populous that, basically, are falling through the cracks even during the strong economy. So what we need to do is somehow find some strategy. This has been going on for many, many, many years. As long as I can remember. There are some advancements. I'll concur to that, but not enough."

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Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara attends the regular meeting of council for the County of Essex on October 4, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

McNamara says he'd like to see the government offer incentives.

"There needs to be intervention, obviously, and who can really help is the province and federal government, basically, sending the message to the private sector that we're going to be with you to make sure that your projects are viable and so forth. I don't know what the real answer is. This is why I'm trying to start that conversation."

He says there needs to be a responsibility to build affordable housing for residents.

"We've got to increase the stock we do have in affordable housing. The difficult thing is to try and convince the private sector that this is a good thing to do. We all have a responsibility to our communities to be able to help."

An event hosted by the Homeless Coalition of Windsor-Essex County last week drew more than 100 politicians, frontline workers and residents.

The coalition is pushing for a housing and homelessness plan to be made a priority in the upcoming municipal election.