Housing corporation looks to county for cash
By Chad Ingram
Aug. 30, 2016
The Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation is looking for nearly $150,000 from the County of Haliburton as it proceeds with the second phase of an affordable housing complex outside Haliburton Village.
The corporation intends to proceed with a $1-million expansion of the Whispering Pines complex, located at 4977 County Road 21.
As 24-unit apartment building was constructed at the former work yard in 2013 and the second phase of the development would include the construction of 12 town homes – six with two bedrooms and six with three – in two separate buildings.
Housing corporation CEO Hope Lee had visited Dysart et al council on Monday, Aug. 22, requested that various municipal fees – for sewer connection, planning, etc. – be waived and that property taxes be reduced. This is standard procedure for developments operated by the housing corporation, which are designed to be financially self-sufficient once they are built and inhabited.
A couple of units in the second phase of the Whispering Pines development will be rented at a market rate, while the rest will go to tenants on the corporation’s list of those requiring affordable housing.
Lee was in Haliburton County council chambers on Aug. 24, giving the upper-tier council an overview of the project and requesting a cash contribution from the municipality in the amount of $144,000.
“We’re just at very high-level, conceptual plans right now,” Lee told councillors of the project, on which construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2018.
The county contributed $100,000 to the first Whispering Pines building and another $100,000 to the 12-unit affordable housing building being constructed near the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena in Minden.
For the Whispering Pines townhouses, the housing corporation will contribute $150,000 from reserves, the remainder of the money coming from provincial and federal funding sources.
Dysart et al Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts asked Lee what would happen if bids came in higher than expected once a tender for the project is released.
Lee said the date of construction had been taken into account when conducting the feasibility study for the project, but if that happened, then the housing corporation would have to turn to its board of directors, as well as Haliburton County and Dysart et al councils.
The housing corporation will require a building permit by March 31, 2018, and intends to begin construction shortly thereafter.
Algonquin Highlands Reeve and County Warden Carol Moffatt noted the financial contributions the county has made to projects in Dysart et al and Minden Hills and indicated that at some point, projects in the county’s other two townships – Algonquin Highlands and Highlands East – would likely require funding from the upper tier.
“There’s a bit of an accruing contribution that has been made for two townships,” said Moffatt, who recently indicated that an EMS would likely be required in Algonquin Highlands before long.
A staff report will come back to county council in September so councillors can figure out options for providing the funding.