Friday, May 18, 2007

Ottawa to Give $$$ to Social Housing & Rural Roads

Ottawa city council committee is recommending that $17.1 million in provincial funding be allocated towards improving social housing and rural roads, instead of putting the money in the bank, in response to pressure by advocates.

The city's economic affairs committee committed $7.1 million towards improving the stock of low-cost housing in Ottawa, and $10 million towards improving rural roads.

The funds are part of a one-time $59-million transfer payment from the Ontario government, which city bureaucrats had recommended be put into the municipality's bank account in order to stabilize property tax rates.

Social housing advocates had objected to the initial recommendation to put the money in the bank, saying that thousands of people are on the waiting list for low-cost housing space and the available stock is in poor condition.

Meanwhile, West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry introduced a motion that $10 million of the $59 million be earmarked for rural roads, saying that the city needs to spend about $85 million on road repair, maintenance and new construction.

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