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Callander not on track to affordable housing goal

More multi-unit buildings required to conform to municipal plan
20210612~Callander Town highway Sign~David Briggs
Callander has fallen behind in its goal to increase affordable housing / Photo by David Briggs

Callander aims to increase the percentage of affordable housing units within the municipality. However, those aspirations may be difficult to achieve.

The town’s planning administrator, Taylor Craig, presented a report on municipal housing to Callander’s council during its July 20 meeting.

Last year, Callander developed an Economic Development Strategy to help guide the municipality. The report emphasized “supporting affordable housing as a means to achieving a sustainable community.”

The plan urged council to “work with developers, service delivery groups and funding agencies in an effort to create affordable housing opportunities.”

See: Opinion: It’s time to make safe affordable housing a priority in Nipissing

Primarily, these opportunities come by way of multi-residential buildings, rowhouses, and apartment complexes, all of which are lacking within the municipality.

Currently, the percentage of single homes to multiple unit dwellings within the municipality is approximately 97 per cent to 3 per cent.

The official plan would like to see “at least 25 per cent of future housing” be row or townhouse developments, with 15 per cent of new builds being apartment units.

The plan covers until 2026, and by that time, Callander expects population to grow to 4,200. It presently sits at around 3,900.

Currently, built housing types from 2006 to 2020 within the region are not meeting the town’s vision. Single detached dwellings remain at the top with 54 per cent of the new build market. Multi-unit and apartment units comprise 8 per cent of new builds during that 14-year period.

“As of 2020,” Craig’s report explains, “the Municipality is not meeting the proposed targets set out in the Official Plan.”

About the Author: David Briggs

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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