Housing strategy discussed at council

KENILWORTH – In his mayor’s report to council on Oct. 7, Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox said, “as you may or may not be aware, the county is participating in trying (to) develop a housing strategy for the entire county – not just subsidized housing, but for the free market as well.”

Lennox said one of the things he found interesting was a survey of interested groups of both developers and residents.

The mayor stated developers’ feedback suggested they wanted to continue to build single family detached homes because they knew they would sell.

As for more affordable housing such as subsidized housing, townhomes or apartments, local developers are not in the habit of building them because they don’t know how they will sell, Lennox said.

“The other thing I found really interesting is survey results from residents,” he said. “Quite overwhelmingly they indicated there is a need for different types of housing.”

But when residents were asked where these forms of housing should be, the answer was “nowhere.”

Lennox said “there is a serious disconnect in that people recognize the need for  housing, but don’t want it in their backyards.”

To Lennox the situation seemed similar to what was experienced in Wellington North a few years ago.

“We heard a lot of the same things,” he said

After demonstrating there was a need, the mayor said there are more forms of housing now being built locally, he said.

“The housing being built, is being occupied there,” he said. “I think we have demonstrated there is a need. I think in many ways we are ahead of some municipalities across the county.”

Lennox said Wellington North’s experience might be useful for other municipalities to consider.