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Four new programs to increase availability of affordable housing

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In keeping with the goal to improve community access to safe, affordable housing, the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton are pleased to open registration for four programs on April 1.

Those four programs are:

  • 2018 Secondary Suite Program (application deadline May 31, 2018)
  • Kawartha-Haliburton Renovates (application deadline April 30, 2018)
  • 2018 Multi-Unit Rehabilitation Program (application deadline May 31, 2018)
  • New – Rental Housing Program for the City of Kawartha Lakes (application deadline May 31, 2018)

“These programs provide a sustainable way to address outcomes from the affordable housing framework that was approved by both the City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton Councils,” says Hope Lee, manager of housing services.

“These programs offer homeowners financial assistance to upgrade their homes to allow a secondary suite, to become accessible for people with disabilities, and to provide affordable housing options for our residents.”

The programs will provide affordable housing options for low income families and renters as the current affordable housing options are limited, given the very low vacancy rate in the area.

There are more than 1,400 residents waiting for financially assisted housing in the City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton, many of those who identify with homelessness. The vacancy rate for rental apartments was noted as 0.8% in a recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation survey and the average market rent for apartments in Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton are often higher than those in the City of Peterborough.

Work is also well underway to maintain a by-name list of those actively facing homelessness. Homeless individuals are added to this list when they complete an assessment, and then are prioritized for housing and support services.

There are currently 1,415 households waiting three to five years for financially assisted housing.  The number of applicants on the wait list has nearly tripled since 2013.

2018 Secondary Suite Program

As of April 1, 2018, homeowners in the City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton who qualify can apply for funding under the Secondary Suite Program. Those interested in applying must meet the following criteria:

  • Home must be located within the City of Kawartha Lakes or County of Haliburton
  • New one or two bedroom self-contained apartment created in existing single family home
  • Homeowner income at or below $76,100
  • Home valued at or below $363,127
  • New unit/units must rent at or below 80 per cent of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation average rent for the 15 year period

A secondary suite is a private, self-contained unit within an existing dwelling and has its own bathroom, kitchen, living and sleeping area, but can share a number of facilities including a yard, parking area, laundry, and storage space. Secondary suite tenants would be seniors or households without dependents with income at or below the household income limit, and selected from the City’s Centralized Waiting List.

The goal of the program is to create a minimum of 10 new units that would include one or two bedroom, self-contained apartments in existing single or semi-detached homes within the City and County for homeowners with income at or below the 60th percentile.

Visit the City’s website for more information about the Secondary Suite Program.

Kawartha-Haliburton Renovates

The City of Kawartha Lakes is participating in the Ontario Renovates Component of the Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario which was developed to help homeowners who are in need of repairs, energy efficient upgrades, or accessibility modifications.

The program provides renovation funding and is an interest-free, forgivable loan. Funding for accessibility modifications is supplied as a grant and does not require payment.

As of April 1, 2018, applications are being accepted for homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • Maximum Household income by number of bedrooms
    • One bedroom $31,000
    • Two bedrooms $38,000
    • Three bedrooms $43,500
    • Four or more bedrooms $54,000
  • Combined assets and investments of the household must not be greater than $20,000
  • Property tax, mortgage, and insurance payments must be up-to-date
  • Home must be located within the City of Kawartha Lakes or County of Haliburton and cannot have an assessed value greater than $363,127
  • Home must be at least 10 years old (unless the application is for accessibility purposes)

Visit the City’s website for more information about the Kawartha-Haliburton Renovates program.

2018 Multi-Unit Rehabilitation Program

The Multi-Unit Rehabilitation Program is the renovation of existing residential properties that are currently vacant and require upgrades to become habitable. The program provides a forgivable, interest free loan over a 15 year period. As of April 1, 2018, applications are being accepted from landlords of rental buildings or rooming houses and who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • Unit must be located within the City of Kawartha Lakes or County of Haliburton
  • One bedroom self-contained apartments or rooming houses
  • New units must rent at or below 80 per cent of Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation average rent for a 15 year period

If selected, the program provides up to $10,000 toward eligible expenses such as construction material, engineered drawings, municipal permits and more.

The goal of this program is to create a minimum of 10 new units that would include one bedroom, self-contained apartments or rooming houses within the City and County for landlords of rental buildings or rooming houses.

Visit the City’s website for more information about the 2018 Multi-Unit Housing Program.

New – Rental Housing Program for the City of Kawartha Lakes

The new Rental Housing Program provides financial incentives and forgivable loans to owners and/or developers that want to build affordable rental housing. The program provides supports to low-income households in communities with a demonstrated need. Funding will be awarded to the project with the greatest benefit to the community (number of units, rent level etc.).

As of April 1, 2018, applications can be submitted from owners of land zoned for residential use with a development plan that enables the construction or conversion to start within three months of signing an agreement, and who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • Unit must be located within the City of Kawartha Lakes
  • One bedroom, self-contained apartments
  • Rent at or below 100 per cent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation average for a minimum of 10 years

If selected, the program provides up to $20,000 per unit and various financial incentives. New Rental Housing tenants would consist of the homeless population, seniors, or households without dependents with income at or below the household income limit (selected from the City’s Centralized Waiting List or the Homeless By-Name List).

The goal of the program is to create a minimum of 12 new units that would have one bedroom Self-contained apartments through new construction including additions or conversion of non-residential buildings into purpose built rentals with the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Visit the City’s website for more information about the new Rental Housing Program.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

1 Comment

  1. there may be these programs so landlords/home owners can do upgrades, but they are definitely not providing AFFORDABLE housing to those in need. I work full-time and will be homeless as of April 30th because I cannot afford to give 3 weeks of my monthly income to rent. I am looking at living at Emily Park….I’ve already had to give up my beloved pets and for every apartment that comes up for rent on kijiji, there are about 500 responses in the first couple of hours posted!!! Caps need to be put in place for rent and stop the gouging by landlords and homeowners looking to make an unreasonable profit from the average worker or homeless person struggling to make it on extremely low incomes.

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