August 24th, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson has designated Councillor Mark Taylor to serve as Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness issues in addition to his current role as Deputy Mayor.

In 2013, City Council established a 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness and to ensure that everyone in our community has access to appropriate and affordable housing.

Given that this issue involves a number of committees and agencies, Mayor Watson has asked Councillor Taylor to work closely with the Chair of the Community Protective Services Committee (CPSC), Councillor Diane Deans, the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Jan Harder and the Chair of Ottawa Community Housing Councillor Mathieu Fleury to see how the City can accelerate its progress on the 10 year plan.

“This is an opportune time to give our efforts a fresh start – now that we have the benefit of working with willing partners at both the provincial and federal levels” said Mayor Jim Watson.

Councillor Taylor’s key role will be to work with the three chairs, community agencies and funding partners with a focus on breaking down silos and accelerating the City’s progress on housing and homelessness issues.

In addition to coordinating the City’s housing and homelessness efforts, Mayor Watson has asked Councillor Taylor to specifically review the City’s progress in reducing its reliance on emergency shelter stays, a key commitment he made two years ago.

Councillor Taylor will be providing a progress report to CPSC in 2017 and 2018, or more frequently – or as deemed appropriate in collaboration with the Chair of CPSC.

“I believe that Mark is in a strong position to foster collaboration, dialogue and progress on these issues”, said Mayor Jim Watson. “His current mandate as a member of the AMO Task Force on Housing and Homelessness, his role on the Board of Ottawa Public Health and Ottawa Community Housing – as well as his current involvement on the Board of the United Way position him as the right lead on this important issue”.

Mayor Watson also thanked Ottawa residents, members of Council and community agencies that partner with the City for their ongoing support of the City’s housing and homelessness plan, as the City strives to fast-track collaborative efforts over the course of the next two years.

For more information on the Housing and Homelessness 10 year plan, visit:


For more information:

Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of Mayor Jim Watson
613-580-2424, ext. 21526