Simcoe County Council reviews new housing affordability plan

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Simcoe County Council addressed the current issue of affordable housing on Tuesday.

With the recent spike in fuel and food prices, housing cost wallets are being stretched across the region.

According to the province, over the past 10 years housing prices have nearly tripled.

“We need to give this generation and the next generation some hope,” said Innisfil Deputy Mayor Daniel Davidson.

As the county nears the end of its 10-year Affordable Housing and Prevention Strategy, Davidson suggests some ideas that will be key moving forward.

“Reducing red tape for developers, changing attitudes about intensification and provincial funding,” he says.

So far, the county says it has reached 94% of its goal of creating more than 2,500 new affordable housing units by 2024, including a mix of secondary suites, housing allowances and affordable rental developments.

“We recently completed construction in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Victoria Harbor and are very excited to build up to 230 new homes in Orillia, Bradford and Barrie,” said Arfona Zwiers, Director of Social Housing.

County Executive George Cornell says prices continue to be out of reach.

“We’ve looked at our economic development, talked to our businesses, there’s a lot of opportunity in Simcoe County, one of the challenges is young families just can’t afford a home,” Cornell said. .

Simcoe County Council is currently reviewing 55 recommendations from a report from the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force.

A report is expected to be presented to council in the coming weeks to help shape its next 10-year housing affordability strategy.

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