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VIDEO: Why 'housing over parking' is such an intriguing idea

As communities across the province struggle to build more affordable housing units, a city councillor in Cambridge has championed a concept that's getting a lot of attention

Communities across Ontario are struggling with the same challenge: how to build more affordable housing units.

A new concept — "housing over parking" — could be part of the solution.

In December, Cambridge city councillor Scott Hamilton brought forward an interesting idea to combat the housing crisis: allow developers to lease city-owned parking lots, for $1 per year, so they can build affordable housing over top of the spots. Picture an apartment building on stilts, with cars parked underneath.

Although Hamilton's motion to explore that possibility was voted down 5-4, other municipalities took notice. Earlier this month, Guelph's mayor said he would use his new "strong mayor" powers to compel city staff to study the concept of building residential units above city-owned parking lots.

Hamilton was a guest on this week's episode of Village Media's Inside the Village podcast, along with University of Waterloo professor Brian Doucet, the Canada Research Chair in Urban Change and Social Inclusion. 

You can watch the full interview HERE.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

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