Nicholas Hillier on Housing

Happy City: In October 2023 (in part, to access federal government funding) the City of St. John’s committed to consider a number of changes to development regulations to allow more housing and more units in existing housing across the city, including in Ward 4. In many cases construction or renovation to add rental units that used to require Council’s approval would be able to go ahead without its review.

Council intends to decide on this issue by June 2024, so you will be asked to vote on it should you be elected. No matter the outcome, some Ward 4 residents will be negatively affected and are likely to call you to complain. How will you respond? All of these people are residents of Ward 4, and as Councillor you are committing to uphold their best interests. 

Media coverage of the announcement:

Full staff report:

Nicholas Hillier

Housing is an issue that is close to my heart. I spent parts of two years working at The Gathering Place on the front lines of our city’s homelessness crisis. I have seen firsthand how the lack of housing options are impacting residents of our city. I also understand that the housing crisis is disproportionately impacting options for students, young families, and seniors alike. 

I want to be very clear on my stance – we need to combat urban sprawl while also recognizing that certain areas of the city cannot handle increased density. There are areas of Ward 4 being targeted for more dense housing options, but are areas where a massive new multi-story complex would not make sense. There are areas of Ward 4 being targeted for more dense housing options, but do not have the infrastructure to handle it. Areas where there is water and sewage infrastructure that need to be replaced have been approved for high-density housing units. 

Once the neighbourhoods have their infrastructure replaced and can handle more units/higher-density units, only then can we move forward with these projects. For me, it’s about taking a common sense approach to housing where everyone’s needs are addressed rather than simply taking federal money and starting building. My campaign has been about ensuring that Ward 4 has an available councillor who will answer peoples emails and calls about their concerns; someone who will be in their corner when they need it; someone who will know the issues and be prepared for the tough questions; and most importantly someone who is going to be honest, fair, and ensuring that the day-to-day lives of the residents of Ward 4 are made better.

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