Grant for Affordable Housing
Access to affordable housing is an issue in every community and one that our local councils have noted but have only played lip service to until recently. Under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced last month that Collingwood will receive 1.26 million dollars to put towards the creation of affordable housing units. Previously, council had applied for the funds with the intention of building the units on the site of the former Tremont Hotel downtown but this met with numerous objections of area residents. Last week, council voted to enter into a partnership with a private company to construct 18, affordable townhouse/walk-up apartment units on vacant land on High Street in Collingwood’s west end. These are the first rental units to be built in Collingwood in over 20 years.
While I laud the councils action on this issue, I think there are other ways that 1.26 million dollars could create many more than 18 affordable units. What if grants were given to homeowners to add accessory apartments in appropriately zoned areas? At $25,000 each, over 50 units could be created making a real dent in the problem.