Affordable housing targets set
By Sue Tiffin
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Sept. 25 county council meeting.
County councillors approved an ideal goal of 750 additional affordable rental units being created in Haliburton County by 2029.
Hope Lee, manager, human services housing services, City of Kawartha Lakes presented the targets to council and spoke to the “extremely concerning” vacancy rate and “lack of purposeful housing” in both Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. According to her report, “the targets are striving to create housing, both rental and ownership, where the rent or the accommodation costs would not exceed 30 per cent of the gross annual household income for low to moderate income households.”
Of those 750 units, 270 would be geared toward low-income residents, 200 would be geared toward middle-income residents and 280 would be deemed supportive.
The additional units included in the target will not necessarily be new, but could be the result of resale of existing ownership, subsidy to a tenant to use in an existing market rental, rehabilitation of spaces not currently residential rental or inhabitable, secondary suites in new construction or in an existing dwelling or purpose-built rental and ownership.
To achieve targets, Lee said, it would be necessary for continued, ongoing and sustainable funding and policy support at all three levels of government and participation of multiple partners as well as continued and ongoing education and information for all partners, especially in developing more through the private market and secondary suites.
“...[M]aybe we haven’t spent as much time or effort on providing information and education to partners,” she said. “While we talk about developing affordable housing, sometimes it’s not clear to some of those partners what that looks like, what that means, what might be available to help them help us to achieve that.”
The City of Kawartha Lakes ideal target totals 2,000 units.
Physician recruitment underway
Cheryl Kennedy, physician recruitment coordinator, updated county council on her work since May in finding doctors to fill positions throughout the county.
Kennedy said she had met with 29 health professionals to date, including students, residents, locums and practicing physicians, and has also met with mayors from each of the county’s municipalities to discuss the needs and wants throughout the area.
Besides attending job fairs, Kennedy said she has expanded her network through meeting other recruiters and joining the Canadian Association of Staff Physician Recruiters organization and has developed a database of physician contacts as well as rental properties necessary for locums.
Next steps include reviewing financial incentives, developing a recruitment strategic plan and attending more job fairs to expand networking.
LIDAR takes to the sky
Over the next two weeks, low-flying aircraft, occasionally flying parallel routes, will be gathering data through Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, to produce extremely detailed topographical images throughout Haliburton County. Flood planning, including potential flood mitigation infrastructure, will be based on the imagery produced by the LIDAR mapping process.