April 6, 2023 at 12:28 am
Lambton County puts its name on housing supply challenge.
This effort by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) aims to provide new solutions to Canadians looking for an affordable place to call home.
The program currently provides up to $40 million in funding for innovative, scalable solutions for affordable housing that accelerate the construction process and use of materials.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the county council asked staff to work with Toronto-based Wildscape Co. to develop the land on Catherine Avenue in Sarnia and begin rezoning the land.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, while supporting the idea, has concerns about the siting.
“I’ve said this a number of times about social housing being concentrated in one area,” Bradley said. “We’ve seen it going back to Sarnia in the 60s, and I’m worried here too that it’s needed. Take away the parks from our neighborhoods. The homeless summit talks about ghetto, can we not look for that kind of development elsewhere in the neighborhood?”
Deputy Warden and City Councilman Brian White agrees that other areas need to be explored to build affordable and accessible housing in the future.
“I think it’s time, and I feel that way for both municipalities, that we’re starting to look at using some of our reserves to buy some land to continue the discussions that Councilor Bradley just started,” White said. “The idea of creating more opportunity across the community, whether it’s at the Sarnia level or at the Lambton County level.”
The current concept is to build 24 units on a parcel of land owned by Lambton County, currently used as a green space/park. The units will provide mixed rowhouse-style accommodation for singles or couples, including accessible units.
CMHC will select a shortlist of up to 25 applications for design and feasibility project development.