During the June 4 Committee of the Whole, Housing Manager Hope Lee, CAO Ron Taylor and Policy Planning Supervisor Leah Barrie provided an update to Council about the ongoing housing initiatives in Kawartha Lakes. The presentation included an overview of municipal, provincial and federal housing legislation and initiatives as well as a summary of how Kawartha Lakes will continue to grow affordable and attainable housing in the coming years.
“Affordable housing is essential to our municipality, and it’s important that Kawartha Lakes and Council continue to develop this sector,” said Ron Taylor, CAO of Kawartha Lakes.
The presentation reviewed the 2016 National Housing Strategy and its focus on affordable housing and homelessness. Community housing was also addressed, and new programs such as the Canada Ontario Community Housing Initiative, the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative and a New Canada Housing Benefit were highlighted in order to illustrate the current housing environment and the federal and provincial government’s assistance in the housing sector.
CAO Taylor highlighted Ontario’s Housing Action Plan, which was created in tandem with the “More Homes, Home Choice Act” (Bill 108), which added 13 various statutes that will change acts impacting development changes, local planning and more. The goal of this provincial Plan is to provide the tools that can allow more homes to be developed.
Taking a local perspective, Lee also discussed investments, community housing developments, funding and private sector housing developments in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.
Programs such as Secondary Suite and Multi-Unit Rehabilitation will help homeowners create houses that are affordable and attainable. Lee also touched on the Affordable Housing Framework, which was implemented in 2017. This Framework outlines many action items that will help create private sector housing in Kawartha Lakes, including changes to policy and By-laws such as zoning.
“We’re turning a corner on affordable and attainable housing by ensuring that both the public and private sector are working towards creating more housing supply and options,” added CAO Taylor.
To continue developing the housing sector in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton, Council will look to adopt new housing targets and the 2020-2030 Housing and Homelessness Plan at a meeting in the fall.
Housing Master Plan presented to Council
As well, a major report was released to the Committee of the Whole on housing. ‘From Housing Assets to Housing People Master Plan’ was presented by Hope Lee and Lisa Oliveira of Housing Services Corporation. This Master Plan focuses on managing the community housing assets in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton, as well as addressing the needs of the centralized waiting list and maintaining 871 rent-geared to income units.
Oliveira introduced the Master Plan ‘From Housing Assets to Housing People’ and provided key details of this Plan, including action items and strategies. This plan will be implemented from 2019 to 2041.
“The goal of this Master Plan is to preserve the community housing stock and provide guidance for future development,” said Oliveira. “The Plan will assist Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton in addressing rental housing goals and targets, planning for additional affordable housing and sustaining the existing community housing stock.”
The ‘From Housing Assets to Housing People’ Master Plan will be supported by the Kawartha Lakes Strategic Plan, asset management plans, the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan and other official municipal plans. By working in tandem with other plans, this Master Plan will be strategic by working towards a unified goal.
The ‘From Housing Assets to Housing People’ Master Plan will be reviewed every five years in order to update the strategies to meet the needs of the current municipality. The Plan will include an implementation strategy focused on four key themes: housing affordability, leveraging existing stock, housing mix and availability and accommodating growth. Each theme will have its own goals, strategies and actions. The Plan includes a set of recommendations to facilitate affordable rental housing supply.
Through implementing this Master Plan, the municipality expects to deliver 5,500 additional affordable rental housing units in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton over the next 20 years.