ROMA Insider: Rural Attainable Housing Task Force

May 18, 2022
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ROMA's Attainable Housing Task Force
ROMA’s newly-formed Attainable Housing Task Force held its first meeting mid-April. One of the tasks undertaken at this first meeting was to look at the results of the survey distributed by ROMA to its members to gain insight into key issues and priorities impacting the ability to provide purposed built housing and rental housing, planning and development barriers, and opportunities in rural municipalities.

With a very high response rate of 55% and 244 respondents, 75% noted that cost/affordability, demand and housing shortages are at the forefront of barriers experienced by small municipalities. Additionally, 68% of respondents said availability of a construction workforce is a challenge.

The Attainable Housing Task Force is comprised of experts with backgrounds in housing policy planning and development, as well as municipal staff and ROMA Board members. With the survey results in mind, as well as priorities outlined in ROMA’s  Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post-COVID World action plan, the group will focus on three main areas of advocacy for rural Ontario:

  • Attainable housing and purpose-built rentals
  • Barriers to development in rural Ontario
  • Strategies to incentivize housing development in rural communities

The Attainable Housing Task Force is meeting monthly until late summer.
Zone Meetings on Opportunities for Rural Ontario Action Plan
Throughout the month of April, ROMA Board Chair Robin Jones and Kathy Wood, CEO of Pivotal Momentum Inc., held four Zone meetings to present ROMA’s Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post-COVID World action plan to Zone members.

Together, they presented the five key themes of the plan, which include digital connectivity, housing, access to services, workforce development and growth opportunities, as well as the plan’s 23 recommendations that act as a roadmap for Ontario to reach its potential beyond COVID. All four meetings were well attended by Zone members.

As well, on May 13, Chair Jones and Kathy Wood virtually attended the regular meeting of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to present the plan and discuss the Attainable Housing Task Force.

Check out the ROMA Zone map to learn more about your ROMA Zone.
ROMA’s Strategic Priorities
The ROMA Board has approved its strategic objectives for 2022. ROMA will strive to advance rural municipal priorities, with a focus on the ROMA Action Plan to support the prosperity and essential role of rural communities to the pandemic recovery. ROMA will also maintain strong partnerships across Ontario to ensure a strong and unified municipal sector.

LAS Resources: Risk Management  
LAS has created a risk management working group to share best practices and provide for sector-wide collaboration on a critical and complex issues. Resources are available at the LAS Municipal Risk Management page for resources on this complex issue.

On June 2, from 11:30 to 12:30 EDT LAS will host a discussion of municipal CAOs Risk Management - What is your insurance strategy? Every municipality needs one will be a dynamic and strategic discussion on evolving issues facing municipal administrators. Using the principles of Chatham House Rule, municipal CAOs are invited to ask questions, share expertise and collaborate with peers on the issues that keep you awake at night.
ROMA Board of Directors
Board Zone Contacts

  • Zone 1: Dennis Crevits, Councillor, Municipality of Central Elgin
  • Zone 2: Chris White, Mayor, Township of Guelph-Eramosa
  • Zone 3: Lloyd Ferguson, Councillor, City of Hamilton
  • Zone 4: Allan Thompson, Immediate Past Chair, AMO Rural Caucus, Mayor, Town of Caledon
  • Zone 5: Pam Sayne, Councillor, Township of Minden Hills
  • Zone 6: Kim Love, Mayor, Township of Madawaska Valley
  • Zone 7: Cameron Wales, Councillor, City of Brockville
  • Zone 8: Eli El-Chantiry, First Vice Chair, Councillor, City of Ottawa
  • Zone 9: Bill Vrebosch, AMO Rural Caucus, Councillor, City of North Bay
  • Zone 10: Janet Hager, Councillor, Municipality of Red Lake

AMO Rural Caucus Members

  • Robin Jones, ROMA Chair, Mayor, Village of Westport
  • Christine Robinson, 2nd Vice Chair, Mayor, Municipality of West Grey
  • Peter Emon, Reeve, Town of Renfrew
  • Christa Lowry, Mayor, Municipality of Mississippi Mills
  • Sandra Datars Bere, CAO, Corporation of the County of Bruce




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