We are in crisis in the County when it comes to affordable housing. As property values have risen dramatically, the incomes of residents and would-be residents have not kept pace.
An August 30 report of the Community Development Department of the County indicates that the median house price in the County has risen 70% since 2013 while median incomes have risen only 10%. A second report shows that the rental vacancy rate sits at only 0.81%.
This explains in part why more and more the morning rush hour involves traffic coming into the County from Belleville, Quinte West and Napanee – people who might well like to live in the County where they work but who just can’t afford it.
Committee of the Whole received these reports at their meeting Thursday August 30 and had very favourable views on the recommendation to create a non-profit housing corporation, to be run independently of Council.
Recommendations were also made to support projects like the repurposing of Pinecrest school (Lovesong) and the former Wellington arena site.
We certainly need to look at innovative solutions to this problem which don’t further impact the taxpayer -tiny houses – encouragement to developers to create affordable rental units among others.
There is no quick solution to this issue and it will certainly occupy the next Council.