KLH Housing on better financial footing, big projects planned

By Roderick Benns

On the eve of significant housing projects taking shape next year, the Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation (KLH Housing Corp) is in better financial shape than ever.

That’s thanks mainly to real estate sell-offs and finding operational efficiencies, according to the affordable housing corporation.

At its annual general meeting held at a special council meeting this week, KLH Housing Corp presented its 2018 budget highlights. The corporation is making a significantly reduced subsidy request to the City of Kawartha Lakes — $620,000 less than last year.

Since 2015, the total number of affordable housing units across the region has increased by four per cent while the total subsidy requested from the City has decreased by 48 per cent.

In 2014, KLH Housing Corp began selling off 64 single and semi-detached units throughout the region. To date, net sale proceeds of over $5.9 million from 36 completed sales are being applied toward new communities in Lindsay.

New communities in both Minden and the Village of Haliburton have also been possible through affordable housing program funding. By early 2019, 129 new housing units will be available across these communities, with 72 per cent of the units being additional.

In total, KLH Housing Corp owns and operates over 700 units of affordable housing.

The corporation has created a number of operating efficiencies to save money, too, including downsizing the number of employees, restructuring overtime protocol, and using technology to find savings.

Participation in various energy savings programs such as hydro, gas and lighting have also added to the reduced operating costs. In total, efficiencies of over $217,000 have contributed to the decreased requirement for funding from the tax levy.

KLH Housing Corp anticipates increases in rental revenue through 40 additional units to be occupied in 2018. Lower expenses are forecast across these units due to increased energy efficiencies in new buildings.

“This year’s results are extremely positive,” says City Mayor Andy Letham.

“The work of the KLH Housing Corp provides direct impacts on the many households they serve by providing more efficient service, more housing options and communities that tenants can be proud to call home,” says Letham.

KLH Housing on better financial footing, big projects planned
City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham.

One of the most anticipated projects by KLH Housing Corp in the works is the two-storey building being built at the corner of Queen and Lindsay Street, which consists of 24 one-bedroom apartments, aimed at ending long-term homelessness.

Launched in the spring, the building will also be the home of the City’s Human Services offices (currently at 322 Kent St.) which administers social service programs.

More than 1200 residents are waiting for affordable housing in the City of Kawartha Lakes and County of Haliburton, with more than a quarter of them identifying as homeless.

Two other affordable housing projects in the works in Lindsay are:

  • 5 Bond St. E., where the construction of 12 family townhouses with three bedrooms each will be helpful for families in need. Construction started this summer with occupancy expected in the spring of next year.
  • 48 St. Paul St., where a 16-unit addition is happening. Construction began in the summer with occupancy expected in spring of 2018. The City is waiving development charges, permit fees, and other related costs for both projects.

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