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More than 100 organizations endorse 'Starts with Home' campaign to tackle Ottawa's housing and homelessness crisis

Some of the community associations that have already endorsed the campaign include the Ottawa Board of Trade, Ottawa Tourism and the Federation of Citizen’s Associations of Ottawa.
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A new housing campaign aims to bring the city's housing and homelessness crisis to the forefront. 

On Wednesday, February 16, the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa announced the 'Starts with Home' campaign, and it already has more than 100 businesses and members signed up to support it. 

The alliance's executive director Kaite Burkholder Harris spoke with The Sam Laprade Show about what she hopes to see arise from the campaign, which outlines six actions focused on affordable housing in the hopes that a new elected mayor and council will seriously tackle the crisis.

"It's very much to build public and political will for really tackling the housing and homelessness crisis seriously with the new council," she explains. "We ultimately want to hit 200 agencies, businesses, community associations --- and 20,000 individual endorsements and that's really, I think, where the weight can come through in trying to focus on an action plan that we hope the next city council will take on and build on." 

Some of the community associations that have already endorsed the campaign include the Ottawa Board of Trade, Ottawa Tourism and the Federation of Citizen’s Associations of Ottawa, just to name a few. 

Harris says another goal is to integrate the affordable market into the private sector. She says that she has watched the city struggle with affordable housing which is indicative of sky-high rent prices. 

"We all know the housing market is just lucrative right now," she said. "The average person can no longer get into purchasing a home, but even renting is becoming so difficult, so I think in that sense we know there's a growing will to tackle the crisis in a serious way." 

She adds, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the city's housing crisis to the forefront and she hopes this campaign will further amplify solutions to the problem.

"We've created this crisis, we can actually create the solution and we know what the solutions are." 

You can listen to Kaite Burkholder Harris' full conversation below: 

 

 

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