Housing Services proposing aggressive targets for new affordable housing

By Lindsay Advocate

At the September 10 Committee of the Whole meeting, Council heard a presentation outlining the targets for the next decade being proposed by Housing Services.

Hope Lee, Manager of Housing, presented the targets, noting that the municipality in its role as Service Manager for the City and the County is in the process of refreshing the Housing and Homelessness Plan 2020-2029 and will bring the refreshed plan to Council in November. A committee has created a draft plan, completed multiple forms of public consultations and have published a comprehensive needs assessment.

One final consideration to complete the refreshed plan is setting the target for the number of additional affordable units that the City and County will strive to achieve over the next term of the plan (2020-2029). The focus of the targets are on low to moderate income households. There are over 23,000 households in Haliburton and Kawartha Lakes considered as low to moderate income households. This includes households with income at or below $42,100 for renters and at or below $84,600 for owners.

The targets are striving to create housing, both rental and ownership, where the rent or the accommodation costs would not exceed 30% of the gross annual household income for low to moderate income households.

The targets were created by a modelling approach that considers two dozen current and historical variables which paints a picture of what is needed and by when.

The targets include a total of 2,750 new rental units created over the next 10 years. Of those, 864 units are targeted to be created by KLH Housing Corp. The balance would come from existing non-profit providers, private market development and through rent supplements to landlords or subsidies such as housing allowances.

Mayor Andy Letham commented, “We know there is great need for new housing. As a Council, we need to find a balance between meeting the targets and remaining affordable for the existing tax base.”

Support from all three levels of government is needed to provide sustainable funding and policy support in order to achieve targets. Continued and ongoing education and information for all potential partners in order to help partners understand how they can contribute and help the City and County understand what is standing in the way for partners.

Three different approaches being considered for affordable ownership for low to moderate income families:

  1. Continue to support homeowner down payment assistance in resale homes. More than 100 owners have been assisted to purchase housing through this program.
  2. New construction: The City and County will establish policies to ensure that there are some options available where low and/or middle income needs are met. This will be done through a community benefit program and/or the Official Plan.
  3. Habitat for Humanity: The City and County will actively pursue ownership options with Habitat for Humanity and other similar not for profit organizations to ensure they have the ability to be actively increasing the number of ownership opportunities.

New ways to actively work toward targets include annual information sessions each fall to bring partners together. Also proposed is an annual expression of interest process to assess incentives requested by developers and create an overall plan that meets their financial needs while balancing the responsibilities of the municipality.

“What we’re looking at is a model that relies on governments and partners. To date we have had little uptake from partners. We’re committed to doing a better job of inviting partners to the table, and making sure they know what is available to them,” commented Hope Lee.

You’re Needed!

The Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Housing Corporation is seeking two individuals to serve as directors on the corporation’s Board of Directors.

The initial term will see the successful candidates represent the corporation for a four year term starting 2020 with a possible second term of four years ending in 2027.

To be eligible, applicants must be a resident of Kawartha Lakes or the County of Haliburton and be at least 18 year of age. Experience in serving on the board of a housing corporation would be beneficial.

Applications may be obtained from the office of the Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Corporation at the address below, or from the Human Services Office 49 Maple Avenue, Unit #8, Haliburton, Ontario.

Interested individual are asked to submit their expression of interest by September 18, 2019.

Applicants are asked to submit their applications and any supporting information such as a resume to:
Holly Russett
Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Housing Corporation
68 Lindsay Street North, P.O. Box 2600
Lindsay, ON K9V 4S7
(705) 324-9870 extension 3228

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