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Council supports regional plan for affordable housing

Prince Edward County council is supporting a plan that seeks to build thousands of affordable housing units across Eastern Ontario.

The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EWOC) ‘7 in ‘7 regional housing plan was presented at Tuesday night’s council meeting by Renfrew County Warden Bonnie Clark, out-going Hastings County CAO Jim Pine and Hastings County Warden Bob Mullin.

Their presentation noted that approximately 12,000 to 14,000 people are on social housing waitlists in the EWOC region of 113 municipalities. It states the average wait time for community housing is almost five years, and as high as 10 years for some units.

The EOWC plan aims to tackle a five to 10-year waitlist for social housing by building 7,000 units in seven years at a cost of $3.1 billion.

Mayor Steve Ferguson called it a bold initiative.

“In order to deal with the housing crisis we have to throw everything we can at it…This presents a terrific opportunity to move the needle even more.”

Of the 7,000 social housing units proposed, Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington would see 1,854 units built at a cost of $813.2 million.

The project would be contingent on private-public partnerships. CAO Marcia Wallace suggested the County’s financial contribution could come in the form of donating land.

Council approved writing a letter of support. The plan is still being presented to other municipalities.

With municipal support, the EOWC’s next steps include creating a business plan, seeking senior government support, consultations with Indigenous, private and non-profit sectors.

Click here to see the full presentation to council.


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  1. David Thomas says:

    @Jenny 100%. But stable housing is the keystone. Get that in place, and you have a chance of tackling the root causes. Without stability in their lives, folks with challenges don’t stand a chance.

  2. ADJ says:

    I asked my councillor what is the biggest roadblock right now for the food banks. Apparently it’s freezer storage space. So I inquired to Chad at County Farm about possible space at the former Cold Storage building adjacent to the County Farm Store. He offered up room for a couple of skids and said please let me know what else we can do. As yet I haven’t heard anything in regards to. Remember the Food Banks are volunteers so maybe it’s a labor shortage issue.
    Also I suggested perhaps approaching the Junior Farmers and/or the Federation of Agriculture locally to see if a raffle or a reduced price can be worked out to help supply available farm products to the “Bank”. Is there a volunteer womens or church group willing to take up the challenge?
    It’s time we stopped sitting around complaining and done something. There are more ideas out there so let’s all get on the same page and seek them out.

  3. Fred says:

    It’s a slightly different scenario when more burdens get placed on a taxpayer trying to pay a mortgage, taxes and put food on his own table,

  4. Susan says:

    Isn’t food and shelter a basic human right?

  5. Susan says:

    It’s hard to believe the line ups at the Picton United Church food bank kitchen. Once you’ve seen it, then it sinks in. Made my stomach turn.

  6. ChrisK says:

    Although it’s a real problem everywhere, I feel the attitude from the general demographics of this County don’t seem to acknowledge the issue, right here in the beautiful Prince Edward County. With all the tourism, wineries, and venues to visit nobody wants to burst the bubble. The reality is that more and more people are getting pushed out and there’s no affordable housing to go to. Who cares the reason why. And yes, if this plan works I guess those folks will be able to pat themselves on the back. I agree, we need people who have lived experience to contribute to how such an important social issue will be addressed if for nothing else than to ensure success of future generations. Otherwise, what happens to the next gen of homeless/poverty…..born into it…as they say.

  7. KB says:

    The numbers will continue to grow, and in 7 years we’ll still have a homelessness problem, especially since the rate is rapidly increasing. How will this plan address the issue for those who become homeless within the following 7 years? It appears these numbers only address the issue up to current date, and doesn’t consider future trends. Did I miss something? I really want to see everyone with shelter so can this plan be beefed up?

  8. Jenny says:

    That’s all fine to put a roof over someone’s head, but also address the issue as to how and why people become homeless: financial, mental health, addictions. Then provide support to ensure they have the tools they need to keep a roof over their head: counselling, support, education. The idea of throwing something at the wall and see what sticks is insane. Let’s not waste this opportunity to do the right thing. Consult with people who have first hand knowledge and experience. Be a better listener to learn what worked and what didn’t.

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