Investing in Housing

Investing in Housing

Over the past term, Rawlson King obtained over $38 million in the City budget for housing and secured over 350 units of new affordable housing in Ward 13.

He is proud to have secured $24.7 million in City financing for an Ottawa Community Housing development at 715 Mikinak Road in Wateridge Village, now under construction, which will offer 271 units in three buildings, including studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

Rawlson King also secured $6.1 million for Shepherds of Good Hope to build a 42-unit supportive housing development at 765 Montreal Road and a $1.8 million grant for Multifaith Housing Initiative to create 40 supportive units for our veterans in Wateridge Village.  In addition, a $3.8 million contribution was provided to a non-profit housing provider to develop a 64-unit building with supportive housing units on Presland Road.

He supported various investments in safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency improvements in social housing in Ward 13, as well as investments to repair and modify homes to support independent living for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

Because investing in affordable housing is absolutely critical, Rawlson wholeheartedly endorses the "Starts With Home" campaign, advanced by the Alliance to End Homelessness, because the City of Ottawa requires exponential investment in housing geared to both moderate-income and vulnerable communities to address the crisis in housing affordability.

Rawlson will continue to advocate and advance affordable housing projects in the Ward. At Council, he  seconded and supported the motion to declare a housing and homelessness emergency in the City of Ottawa. If elected to another term, he will work towards refreshing and revamping social housing stock in the Ward and will encourage transit oriented affordable housing development on Coventry Road.

He also worked cooperatively with his elected colleagues in Ottawa-Vanier, led by Ottawa-Vanier MPP Lucille Collard, and Ottawa City Councillors Tim Tierney (Ward 11, Beacon Hill-Cyrville) and Mathieu Fleury (Ward 12, Rideau-Vanier), to establish an Affordable Housing Task Force to help find solutions to the affordable housing problem in Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward and beyond.

He believes a multi-fold increase in funding from the provincial government is necessary to address the 12,000-person housing registry wait list in Ottawa. This is why he advocates for $100 million per year from senior levels of governments over 10 years for Ottawa Community Housing and other local housing agencies, so that at least 10,000 units can be built per year.

At Council, he is committed to supporting the creation of a comprehensive policy to address renovictions and demovictions.  Rawlson was proud to secure a memorandum of understanding in Rideau-Rockcliffe concerning redevelopment in Manor Park that safeguards tenants against displacement.

More investments however are needed in new innovative practices, policies, and strategies to rapidly expand the creation of community-led affordable housing. As a result, he voted in favor of the inclusionary zoning policy that was proposed by City staff. He however does believe that the inclusionary zoning framework as proposed will need to be strengthened to aggressively create an adequate amount of affordable rental housing for both moderate-income and vulnerable households.  

He also supports landlord licensing, similar to that operated in the City of Toronto.  In 2019, Rawlson seconded and supported a failed motion at Council that would have introduced a landlord registry.  He continues to believe we need a landlord licensing system that would include yearly inspections, increased enforcement, and better repair standards.

He would also support the establishment of a Housing Ombudsperson to protect and advance housing as a human right, as well as to resolve disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (local housing agencies, co-operatives, and non-profit housing providers).

Rawlson King has served as Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe since 2019, after winning a historic by-election to become Ottawa's first Black City Councillor. A strong believer in public service, Rawlson previously served as President of the Overbrook Community Association, a board member at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, and was the first co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council.  He is a current and founding Board member of the Rideau Winter Trail.  

During the 2018-2022 Term of Council, Rawlson served as Chair of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee and was also appointed to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management.  He also served on the boards of the Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation and Quartier Vanier BIA. He also sat on the City's Information Technology Sub-Committee.  

Recognized for his volunteer work, he won a United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year Award in 2018, conferred during National Volunteer Week.  He also was a recipient of a Black History Ottawa Special Recognition Award, bestowed during 2021 Black History Month.

Before his election to public office, Rawlson was an entrepreneur and communication professional with over 20 years private sector experience in marketing, strategic communication and high-technology market research.

Rawlson earned a Bachelor of Journalism (with concentration in Legal Studies) and an M.A. in Communication from Carleton University. A proud Carleton alumnus, he and his wife personally established the Rawlson King and Linda Grussani Scholarship for Indigenous, Black and Racialized Students at Carleton University in 2022.