Housing, development cited in St. John's report
St. John's city council has been told to resolve problems with affordable housing and development policies to take advantage of a steaming economy.
At Tuesday evening's regular meeting, councillors toasted the results of a Conference Board of Canada report that applauded a growing labour force and a dropping unemployment rate in the city.
"Actually, we're doing better than Calgary right now, which is something that should be noted," Coun. Debbie Hanlon told council, which is reviewing economic data as it works on a budget that must be finalized by December.
However, the same report flagged two issues that need to be resolved: the availability of affordable housing and the city's policy on downtown development.
While soaring house prices are driving up city tax revenues, they're also hurting residents with low or fixed incomes.
On development, Coun. Tom Hann said a lack of consensus on how to approach controversial developments is holding the city back.
"There's got to be a fine balance," Hann told the meeting. "What the balance is, I don't know, but we have to come to some conclusion of how we can get all the parties together and come to an agreement so we can move the city a bit forward."
For the current fiscal year, council passed a budget of almost $204 million.