City in need of more rental housing

By Lindsay Advocate

Terms like “desperate” have been used to describe the need for more rental housing of all kinds in Kawartha Lakes which currently has a minuscule 1.3 per cent vacancy rate, according to the last figures available from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The Fenelon Community Housing Initiative (FCHI), a local non-profit with a proven record of building multi-storey dwellings, would like to construct 90 new units of rental housing just off Juniper Street in Fenelon Falls, a little southeast of the falls themselves.

Sandra Barrett, the project chairperson, said the FCHI venture will be a mix of tenants with most of the apartments renting at market value, while the remainder will be available to those requiring geared-to-income housing or assisted-living accommodation.

“I have spoken to many businesses in town who report that their employees cannot find a place to live in Fenelon,” Barrett told the Advocate.

“One business said they had an employee living in a tent hoping for a decent apartment to become available in the village.”

Councillor Doug Elmslie is fully supportive of the project and describes the supply of apartments in Fenelon Falls as “shockingly low.”

Many neighbours living close to the proposed site have expressed concerns about both how the land was sold to the FCHI by the city and what the project will look like.

These individuals say they have felt ignored by various city officials who have either failed to respond to their concerns about the project or have indicated that they know little more than the citizens about the build.

This lack of communication between concerned citizens, the city and FCHI is unacceptable and was completely avoidable.

The Advocate believes much-needed new rental accommodation projects like the one in Fenelon Falls should be encouraged and welcomed right across our city.

We support the FCHI project and hope to see more like it all over Kawartha Lakes.


  1. wayne says:

    Try being a landlord for a short time and you will see why there’s a shortage of rental units all over Ontario.

  2. Diane Engelstad says:

    People are always skeptical, it seems, about vacant land undergoing development, especially if it’s in their “backyard” and may have been put to good use (dog walks, open space with a view…).

    It’s harder to imagine a beautiful new view, with lovely new neighbours — elderly, young, families, singles, widowed, folks in wheel chairs, folks who don’t drive, folks who had a job but no place to live — who finally have a place to call home. That’s what new rental housing can mean in the heart of Fenelon Falls, and I am all for it.

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