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County Not-for-Profit Corporation proposed to tackle affordable housing crisis

The County’s Affordable Housing Task Team will present its case, and recommend a County Not-For-Profit Affordable Housing Corporation, at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting at Shire Hall.

The task team was struck to tackle the problem of year-round accommodations with an eye to transient seasonal labour as a secondary focus as the lack of housing relates to labour shortages and limits growth of County businesses.

The case report states that “even a massive housing price correction won’t restore affordability” noting a fall of 35 per cent in median house value would be needed to restore the relation of house prices to income to 2013 levels. “Such a correction would be unprecedented, and extremely unlikely.”

“In other words,” the report states, “the affordability crisis will not simply ‘work itself out’ over time, or with new residential development”.

A variety of solutions presented includes: affordable units in new not-for-profit buildings and commercial buildings; relatively affordable new detached and semi- homes; tiny home infill; new social housing, rent support units; working with Habitat for Humanity and rent to own or earn-out models as well as secondary units.

Some were found to be higher impact than others, according to the chart below:

The report suggests a County Not-for-Profit Affordable Housing Corporation to increase the supply by increasing funding from traditional and new sources; providing a reliable transfer of any municipal assets for affordable housing; initiating and supporting new projects in co-operation with community and development stakeholders and ensuring operational standards.

A corporation, the report notes, provides better access to funding with leverage for assets and municpal affiliation to obtain additional funding and supports.

There are two housing development ideas under way that a County NFP could support – including the PEC Affording Housing Network’s proposal for the old Wellington arena, and the LoveSong Seniors Housing and Community Hub at the former Pinecrest school in Bloomfield.

Additional information is to be brought to the committee of the whole meeting July 26 with possible ratification by council Aug. 7 to get under way by fall, 2018.

Click here to see the full report.

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