Canada/Calgary City Council revisits affordable housing action plan
After rejecting the Affordable Housing Action Plan on Tuesday, Calgary City Council reversed its decision with a second 14-1 vote on Wednesday. The vote allows the city administration to study the action plan's recommendations with a view to developing its own affordable housing strategy.
This action plan was drafted by an independent task force of experts on affordable housing.
The eight city councillors voted against the plan on Tuesday evening, rejecting the recommendation on zoning rules.
Indeed, the independent experts suggest replacing the zoning rule that limits construction in certain neighborhoods to one house per lot, with a new one that would allow more than one house to be built on a single lot, in all neighborhoods.
This suggestion worried these city councillors," says Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.
In fact, before the first vote on Tuesday evening, councillors asked to be allowed to vote on each recommendation individually, which the mayor refused. That's why the action plan was rejected as a whole on Tuesday evening.
We had to accept the recommendations in their entirety. We couldn't ask the independent experts to remove elements from their own report," explains the mayor.
It seems that some councillors didn't understand the difference between voting on recommendations from an independent task force and voting on recommendations from the municipal administration," she adds.
Thanks to the second vote, the city will be able to use the action plan's recommendations to develop an affordable housing strategy and hold public hearings in September. The strategy will then be presented to City Council, which will be able to debate and vote on it.