LONDON, Ont. -- We are learning the true depth of London's homelessness crisis this week - as hundreds of people turn out to the housing stability event at Silverwood Arena.
While dozens are finding homes, long- term solutions require cooperation and funding from all levels of government, and having a federal cabinet minister might help.
Just a week after the federal election, CTV News has learned that political wheels are turning to address London's housing crisis.
On Tuesday, London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos entered a meeting with Mayor Ed Holder which was described on social media as a discussion of “shared priorities.”
The mayor confirms a discussion of housing funds, “You can't do it alone, and there will be various sources of funding that come through from time to time and it’s important that we bring our case forward to them and soon.”
Council recently replaced the boards of London Middlesex Community Housing and the Housing Development Corporation and with a single city staffer.
Fragiskatos says collaboration will be important when tapping into federal funds.
"I know that there have been disagreements and disputes over the administration of housing in recent weeks and months, I need that to be resolved before I can advocate for specific funding to be allocated to the existing housing stock. I told that to the mayor, I think he understands that.”
The federal government continues to roll out a 10-year national housing strategy which has already benefited the city according to London West MP Kate Young.
“We know that the federal government is in the affordable housing business, we have been in the housing business with the National Housing Strategy. We've been able to announce at least seven affordable housing projects in London."
Fanshawe College political scientist Matt Farrell says having a local MP in cabinet could help communicate the region's housing needs in Ottawa.
“When you are the prime minister you want to make sure you are covering the map, so to speak, and then conversely from the region's perspective we want someone from the cabinet table able to make those strategic decisions.”
There hasn't been a federal cabinet minister west of Waterloo since 2015. That was London's current mayor.
He says London’s MPs did a great job advocating last term, but a seat at the cabinet table benefits a region.
"Members of parliament will always see these folks in the lobby and they would be accessible to their own members for sure, but when you are in cabinet you have that extra familiarity and that always helps.”
Fragiskatos says the decision rests with the prime minister, “of course it would be an honour to serve in cabinet, but you are quite right over the past four years we have not had a cabinet minister in place, but at the same time no federal government has invested in this city like this previous federal government has.”
Young expects southwestern Ontario will be represented, “We do need representation around the cabinet table in the southwest region, and that includes Windsor and Kitchener and of course London.”