The affordable housing crisis in Prince Edward County has only worsened over the last four years. New factors such as the COVID-19 related surge of people moving out of cities, increasing property values and the exponential increase in the number of "whole home" short term accomodations (STAs) are making housing less affordable.
What we are doing
The 2018-2022 Council set up an Affordable Housing Corporation with the expert guidance of Director, Charles Dowdall. This new entity is obtaining CMHC funding and pursuing other grant opportunities as well as working closely with private developers to build affordable housing.
The concrete results so far include:
40 new units being built on the site of the former Dukes dome in Wellington
12 units on Disraeli Street in Picton
The Lovesong project in Bloomfield is proceeding which will create at least 50 more units
We are also working to acquire the former Queen Elizabeth School in Picton and are looking at whether the current H.J. McFarland home can be converted into affordable rentals when the new home is built.
A new Capital Facilities bylaw Council just approved will provide tax relief to builders who guarantee the building of affordable units.
As well, after much debate, we have stopped the creation of new whole home STAs. Only B&Bs and part home STAs will be approved going forward.
I intend to introduce along with other Councillors an "Inclusionary Zoning" Bylaw which will allow the municipality, for the first time, to force developers to create a certain quantity of affordable (CMHC verifiable) housing in each development. This is used to great affect in many municipalities.
There is no quick solution, but through this combination of efforts Affordable housing will continue to be an important priority for Council.