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affordable housing

Developer says he’d like to create more livable spaces above downtown Lindsay stores

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“We’d like to do more in Lindsay -- it’s near and dear to my heart." Photo: Erin Smith.

One of Lindsay’s leading commercial building owners, Steve Podolsky, says he’d love to create more housing opportunities above downtown businesses but says there are a lot of obstacles in the way.

Those obstacles include the fact that so many of the spaces on the second and third floors have languished so long that there is no water, heat, or electricity that are even close to being ready to be activated – not to mention that the thin walls no longer meet more advanced fire codes.

Between those exorbitant costs to make the second and third floors livable, and the fact that it would be a huge disruption to businesses, these issues are inevitably delaying development in the downtown.

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Two Lindsay families receive keys to new Habitat homes

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The Sorensen family get their keys.

Two very excited families are moving into their new homes in Lindsay thanks to Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region, local volunteers, and community partners. A Home Dedication Ceremony took place at 39 & 41 Hamilton Street in Lindsay, where supporters gathered to celebrate the 35th and 36th families that Habitat has helped into safe, decent and affordable housing.

“We prayed and dreamed for years about owning our own home – a place that is ours,” said Tara Sorensen. “It didn’t seem like it would ever happen!” Owning a home has been a lifelong goal for the Sorensen family: Tara, Sean, and their two children, Jahmes (4), and Sean Jr. (8 months). Despite working hard and earning a steady income, this goal felt far out of reach.

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Development charges being reviewed in City to support housing, growth

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Owners of downtown buildings might elect to do more work on upper stories without development fees. Photo: Erin Smith.

At today’s Committee of the Whole meeting the first step was taken that could eventually see development fees relaxed for property owners who may wish to upgrade their buildings and turn them into livable spaces.

Mayor Andy Letham presented a memo to Council requesting that the Task Force currently reviewing development charges consider the following issues when writing a new by-law for January 2020:

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Chronic homelessness dramatically reduced in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton

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Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, reduce chronic homelessness dramatically

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has announced that the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton have marked a 51 per cent reduction in chronic homelessness since August 2018. Currently, Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton are one of the two communities “in the last mile” and are being recognized at the ‘Built for Zero’ press conference in Toronto for showing that they are projected to reach “functional zero” on chronic homelessness within the next 12 months or less.

“Functional zero” means that the City and County will have three or less people experiencing chronic homelessness over three consecutive months. Chronic homelessness is when an individual has been experiencing homelessness for six months within the last year.

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Barbara Doyle chosen as federal NDP candidate

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Barbara Doyle has been chosen to represent the NDP in Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock for the next federal election. She was one of two candidates, topping local union leader James Mulhern.

Doyle is focusing on a platform that fights for “change and progress in areas of affordable housing, universal Pharmacare, justice reforms, skilled trades and implementing robust climate policies that include fighting for an aggressive transition to green alternatives and moving away from carbon-intensive industries while also addressing limiting trade policies that go against Canadian interests,” according to a press release.

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Affordable housing options to expand in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County

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The Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation (KLH Housing Corp) is looking for Council to assist with the debt financing of two new rental apartment buildings; 30 units in Fenelon Falls and 21 units in Minden. Council received a presentation on the proposed projects at the February 12 Committee of the Whole meeting. Council will be making a decision on the support being requested for the projects at the February 19 Regular Council meeting.

“The new rental  housing units will support a variety of different tenants and that is very exciting news for Minden and Fenelon Falls,” says Hope Lee, Housing Manager. “KLH Housing Corp is committed to providing rental housing options across the City and County.”

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Basic income was helping with crushing cost of housing: Survey

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More than 58 per cent of people collecting basic income were trying to change their housing situation, according to a new survey.

OBIP Chronicles — Finding affordable housing in Ontario hasn’t been easy for decades. Finding it in Kawartha Lakes has been even more difficult of late, with the 2018 figures showing a 1.5 per cent vacancy rate, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) 2018 fall report. A healthy vacancy rate is more like three per cent.

For people collecting basic income in Lindsay, Hamilton area, and Thunder Bay area, the pressures they were facing with housing costs were lessened with the new benefit they were receiving, although all of that is ending in March with the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

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Housing and homelessness plan review, update and survey

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Provincial legislation has established the City responsible for the administration of housing and homelessness programs and services for both the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton. In this capacity, the City is called the Service Manager. The province requires Service Managers to develop a 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan (“the Plan”). The Plan establishes priorities for housing and homelessness services based on targeted consultations and research.

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Council to make decision on short term residential rentals

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City of Kawartha Lakes Council will be making a decision on short term residential rentals in the City of Kawartha Lakes at the August 14 Council Meeting. City staff completed an extensive review of short term residential rentals and provided an informational report to Council at the June 19 Council meeting on the outcomes of the review and proposed options for consideration. Staff have developed three options for Council’s consideration.

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Scott says tax rebates for child care expenses, cheaper gas if PCs elected

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Three community groups — The Access to Permanent Housing Committee, the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition and the Haliburton County FoodNet – posed questions on poverty, housing, and food insecurity to candidates in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock running for office in this provincial election. In this installment, we hear from Progressive Conservative Candidate Laurie Scott.

What will your party do to increase and maintain access to affordable, safe housing, in addition to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Canada-Ontario Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement?

Scott: The Ontario PCs believe that Ontarians should not have to work day and night to be able to afford to heat their homes, pay their rent or mortgage and put food on the table for their families.

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