Housing project in Minden complete
By Darren Lum
Published July 13, 2017
From the smiles and appreciative gestures, it’s easy to see how the residents of the Pinegrove Place feel about their new home, run by the Kawartha-Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation in partnership with all levels of government.
Marc Schroetter, a resident who was also associated with starting Minden’s Lantern Festival of the August Moon (formerly the Festival of the August Moon), spoke to a packed lobby of members of Minden Hills council, the housing corporation, partner agencies, MP Jamie Schmale, MPP Laurie Scott and the public about his new home, before dignitaries cut the ribbon to officially mark the opening.
“The views are very inspiring. To me, because I look out the back, I can’t find anything more stress relieving than to see nature. Also ... have a baseball diamond [out the front] so it’s sort of like our Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come, right?” he said to applause.
Pinegrove Place is a 10,000-square-foot one-storey building located at 57 Parkside Street with 12 one-bedroom units starting at 600-square-feet for seniors and individuals with physical disabilities.
It was built to provide much needed affordable housing in Minden. Residents rent at market value or at rent geared to income.
The project cost $1.7 million and was built to budget in a year by Lindsay’s MVW Construction. It is the first phase of a two-phase development, which is expected to include another residence with up to 22 units, ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms. A timeline of completion has yet to be determined.
Funding for the project came from a variety of sources. There was a $1 million investment in affordable housing 2014 extension federal and provincial capital funding; $100,000 from the County of Haliburton; $100,000 reserve contribution from KLH Housing Corporation; seed funding through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and assistance also came from the Municipality of Minden Hills, which donated the land, administrative costs for zoning and site plan, waived building permit fees, a portion of the servicing costs and reduced property tax.
Schroetter also thanked KLH Housing Corporation’s CEO Hope Lee. In giving the residents a place to live, he said, there has been a great amount of stress lifted.
“Here we are in a place that is just state-of-the-art ... it’s a healthy environment so that we can continue with our lives to be productive citizens of Minden and also Haliburton County. ... This is just really, really something that a lot of us needed. Especially, as we get older our incomes are getting progressively lower and lower. The prices are going up and up we have a lot to offer the community,” he said.
Along with Lee, the KLH Housing Corporation’s chairperson Eleanor Harrison, director and Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin, Scott and Schmale also addressed the gathering to give thanks and congratulations for the result of all those involved in the effort.
The KLH Housing Corporation will manage the property. Through partnerships with support service agencies, tenants will have access to on-site support with programming and service space at the residence. According to its website, the KLH Housing Corporation is a non-profit housing provider that works under the Housing Services Act to provide affordable housing for seniors and individuals with special social, physical, developmental and psychological needs in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County. They own and operate more than 700 units in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, Omemee, Bobcaygeon, Minden and Haliburton.
From a City of Kawartha Lakes press release, there are 172 low-income senior households on a waiting list for a unit in Haliburton County and 106 in Minden
“Lack of stable and quality housing prevents full social participation and contributes to chronic poverty, poor health, and reduced educational attainment,” said Lee in the CKL press release. “Housing stability benefits our whole community. By building strong, inclusive neighbourhoods, we are reducing illness and health costs and improving quality of life.”