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affordable housing

New housing complex should be for rehab, not ‘condoning drugs’: Woman’s petition

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New housing complex should be for rehab, not ‘condoning drugs’: Woman’s petition
Local woman wants the mandate of this complex to change. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Vera Fillion lost her 23-year-old son nearly six years ago from a Fentanyl overdose. Now her partner is hooked on hard drugs once again, after he moved into an apartment at the brand new 68 Lindsay Street North building, at the corner of Queen Street.

She calls the new housing “a terrible place to be” and says it “smells like death.”

“It feels like they got this building to get the worst of the worst together,” she tells the Advocate.

“The girls wander the hallways like zombies…covered in open wounds from crystal meth. My partner got a room in there – he went in sober and now he’s back on drugs.”

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Needle and the damage done: Drugs in public housing

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For the last five months the Lindsay Advocate has been talking with concerned residents at a few different community housing units in the City of Kawartha Lakes about the issues of drug-dealing in their communities. Several residents were interviewed and all of them, out of fear for their own safety, requested anonymity. Residents were interviewed in person and given the opportunity to provide written submissions. The City of Kawartha Lakes and both police services in the City were asked to comment.

I am sitting at the kitchen table in a social housing apartment with Carl, Estelle, Dorothy and Jack. Carl’s unit looks like it could be in a design magazine. The decor is stunning; the attention to detail clearly demonstrating a pride of place. I find myself wishing that my rental house could look this nice. But I’m not here to get design tips. I’m here to hear the stories and struggles these people are having with active drug dealing in their complex.

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City says it’s ‘turning a corner’ on affordable housing supply

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Housing Services proposing aggressive targets for new affordable housing

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.

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Housing program launched to support homeowners building secondary suites

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Housing Services proposing aggressive targets for new affordable housing

Housing Help has launched its 2019 Secondary Suite Program, which will help homeowners in Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton develop a private unit within an existing house. To apply before the deadline of July 5, 2019, visit the Housing Help website.

“The Secondary Suite Program is a great way for Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton residents to support seniors or other small households looking for housing accommodations, to increase rental housing options in the area,” said Hope Lee, Manager of Human Services-Housing. “Secondary Suite gives flexibility to residents looking to make their housing options more affordable.”

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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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