Finding affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges facing Halton’s residents in recent years. So what is the region doing to help?
In 2014, the region issued its Comprehensive Housing Strategy (CHS) Update 2014-2024. This document identified three goals for the Region, which included:
- Create a range and mix of new housing opportunities to meet the needs of our Halton community.
- Protect existing rental housing so that it continues to be available to our residents.
- Provide coordinated services to residents who need support to obtain or maintain their housing.
According to the report, the vacancy rate for Halton is the lowest when compared to other regional municipalities in the GTA and rents are unaffordable for many.
The report continues: “Construction of purpose-built rental housing is only one solution, and companion rental subsidies are needed to house applicants from our waitlist.”
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The original plan sought to complete 550 to 900 new housing opportunities in the form of:
- Purchasing or developing new rental units.
- Provision of rental assistance in new or existing buildings.
- Create specialized housing for specific target groups.
The region also planned out how affordable housing would be laid out:
In 2017, the city provided an update to the CHS which detailed that at least 50 per cent of new housing units produced annually in Halton are in the form of townhouses or multi-storey buildings and at least 30 per cent of new housing units produced annually are affordable or assisted housing.
According to the region, the CHS has succeeded in:
- 32.4% of new house sales and assisted units met Halton’s Affordability Target
- 206 new housing opportunities created
- $3.2 million for critical social housing repairs through the Social Housing Improvement Program (SHIP)
- 1,897 clients served through Housing Help – 224 received intensive customized supports
Despite these numbers, it remains challenging to find affordable housing in the region, as with all areas across the province.
The numbers do, however, indicate a trend that most housing is being built. Only time will tell if the region will meet the goals it set for 2024.
You can read the full CHS Strategy here.
You can read the full CHS 2017 update here.
Photo’s courtesy of the Halton Region