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Nina Tangri Gives her First Interview After Becoming Ontario’s Associate Minister of Housing

Parvasi Media Group had an exclusive conversation with the newly appointed minister.

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Nina Tangri has been appointed as Ontario’s new Associate Minister of Housing of Ontario. In a tweet shared on Friday evening, Tangri said, “Pleased to announce that I have been sworn in as the news Associate minister of housing. Thank you to @forndnation for his confidence and I look forward to working diligently to deliver on our plan to build Ontario.”

Parvasi Media Group had an exclusive conversation with the newly appointed minister and the transcript of the telephonic interview is as follows :

Prabhnoor Kaur: Congratulations on your new role! We know that housing is one of the most critical ministries, and it’s a pride for the entire South Asian community to have you as Ontario’s Associate Minister of Housing.

Nina Tangri: Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure to join you today.

Prabhnoor Kaur: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the housing sector in our country and how do you plan to address them?

Nina Tangri: So believe the biggest issue that we face right now is the supply. There’s just not enough housing for the number of people we have. Even though we’re 40% of the population of Canada, in Ontario, we do take between 50% to 60% of the new immigrants and the largest number of international students and everybody who’s looking to purchase their first home. So as children grow up and move out of their parents, and get married, they’re looking for their first home. So the supply of the housing is our biggest issue right now. So that’s what our government is focusing on, getting more housing supply, which means building more housing.

Prabhnoor Kaur: What role do you think technology and innovation can play in improving access to affordable housing? And how do you plan to harness these tools to achieve your goals?

Nina Tangri: That’s a great issue. So, technology today, compared to what it was decades ago, is so significantly higher. So, for example, we have environmental assessments, phase one, and phase two, and there are numerous studies that need to take place. So you’re harnessing today’s technologies while we’re doing all of these studies, let’s do them all at the same time. Let’s get it zoned faster. And with these new tools, things can happen so much faster and people should be able to be online to check the progress of anything that they’re applying for, whether it’s permitting the zoning issues and just to stay in touch with each other. I think that’s just so important that we harness all of the latest technologies today’s world. We’re also harnessing artificial intelligence as well to work out the algorithms for us to see how much housing we will potentially be in the future. We’re using this technology today, and as it progresses, we’ll use more technology going forward.

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Prabhnoor Kaur: Since you mentioned international students and immigrants, how are you planning to ensure that the voices of these and their needs of them, including the marginalized communities, indigenous peoples, and low-income households, are heard and addressed in your policies and initiatives?

Nina Tangri: Yeah, so all of those international students are coming to Ontario. So we’re working with the colleges, the universities, just to make sure that as they bring people in, they have a supply of housing. So they’re working with the private sector to those who have homes to make sure that those houses are safe, be sure those houses where people are living, they’re not overcrowded, and to make sure that we as a government with these sectors and everybody making sure that they are being taken care of and understanding. Housing is very expensive and how can we find ways, if we can get it built at a less cost that they can pass those cost savings on to those who are renting like international students. But you also mentioned the indigenous community. Part of our government strategy is we have a duty to consult. So it is everything that we do that affects the indigenous communities. We actually talk to them and we consult with them and they actually provide us with great information on ways that we can do things better as well. So it is our responsibility to make sure that the indigenous communities, they participate in all of the changes that we make and just the price of housing as a whole. Everybody wants to own their own home, but for those who aren’t have to make sure that we look to provide purpose built rentals so that there’s enough supply going forward for those people who just temporary living somewhere, for example, that choose not to purchase their own home. So getting more of that housing built. So one way we’re doing that is that we’re working with the municipalities across the province to reduce or remove development charges so that we can get that house built cheaper so that they can onto those who are rent. The rent prices will come down.

Prabhnoor Kaur: What are your plans for addressing the issue of Urban sprawl and promoting more sustainable and livable communities?

Nina Tangri: So urban sprawl is something that’s been happening for a long time now. The homes that most of us live in southern Rampton have been part of that. So we want to make sure that, say, for example, on the LRT, the light rail transit that we have along Highway Ten that goes through Southern up to Rampton, and more housing will be built along those that’s where you’ll see more of the highlight building so that people can utilize that line to go up from north to south to north. So they will be on a transit route so this way help people get out of their cars so they can utilize our transit system. And that is good not just for them, but good for our environment as well. The more people we can get out of their cars, but also along all of the major routes, we will be looking to build more housing along there. It’s also just regular homes that people are looking to either purchase or to move up into the next […]families […]to make sure we get more of that housing built as well.

Prabhnoor Kaur: Finally, what message do you have for the Canadians who are struggling to find affordable housing or who are experiencing homelessness and what reassurances can you offer them that help is on the way?

Nina Tangri: We have right now a part of our plan that allies must build more housing. They need to build it much faster. So if we can get things built faster, policies can take in more property taxes and build the communities around them. But right now, affordability really is the biggest issue. So we need to get the more housing built, the more supply that there is. It levels up a bit to make sure that if people choose where they want to live, that will bring the rental prices down. Then we also have community count social housing, affordable housing. We need to support those who are vulnerable that need that supportive housing. Just around the corner from my office. I live close to there. And we need to get around the issue of what we call nimbyism. So people who choose not to have affordable housing or social housing in their neighborhood. So we’re a community collectively, whether we’re living in single detached homes or whether we’re living community housing, social housing. So let’s all work together so we can welcome everybody, whether they’re newcomers, international students, or those who do social there.

Prabhnoor Kaur

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