London celebrations

Memoirs of the town hall: COVID recovery plans; housing company; council objectives

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A collection of news and notes from Wednesday evening at London’s City Hall:

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COVID Recovery Efforts

Three new proposed COVID-19 recovery plans won the unanimous support of city council, sitting in committee, Wednesday night. The Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee has approved plans to collect data on the size of London’s gig economy, create a City of Music exhibition to show the value of this recent designation, and hold a conference and a week-long celebration of London as a city of music. The total price for the three projects is $182,875. The Council has allocated $5.4 million from a $10 million fund set aside for pandemic recovery efforts.

Housing corporation one shell only

The housing development corporation that the city council voted to dissolve two years ago still exists as a shell corporation, city politicians heard Wednesday night. The now-defunct company and London’s public housing provider, London and Middlesex Community Housing, presented their annual updates to council on progress in 2021. All housing development company staff – which was established as an independent city-owned organization in 2016 as a way to generate more affordable housing – have now moved to City Hall. A scathing audit in 2019 recommended closing the agency, saying it had accomplished nothing the town hall could not do on its own. The council fired the boards of the public housing provider and the development corporation and then disbanded the latter group. This work is now part of the City Hall Housing List and led to the construction of affordable housing by the city at 122 Base Line Rd., 403 Thompson Rd. and 345 Sylvan Street.

The goals come on the wire

Council’s roadmap for the term, a strategic plan of 588 goals, is about a quarter complete with just four months before the municipal elections in October. A progress report presented to city politicians Wednesday night shows 128 targets completed in May. Another 75% of these goals are on track to be achieved by the end of the mandate. The remaining 3%, including plans for new community centers in the northwest and southeast, may not be completed on time.