Community Improvement Plan up for Final Approval

In late 2019, the Town launched a plan to make it possible to subsidize affordable Housing in Cobourg. A seemingly straight forward task, a consultant was hired to report by May 2020 but due to delays caused by Covid-19, the report will finally be approved at Monday’s Council meeting.  Affordable housing in this case means affordable rental housing which is generally in short supply in Cobourg, affordable or otherwise.  My understanding is that the Plan is required to make it legal for the Town to use Taxpayers money for this purpose.  This initiative is being done by the Town despite the fact that the County has responsibility for social services including affordable housing although the plan does talk about working with the County and in accordance with their strategy.

For this report, affordable rental housing is where “annual accommodation costs do not exceed 30% of gross annual household income.”

But as well as affordable housing, the consultant “looked into opportunities to incentivize development of Brownfield areas and developments which address areas of sustainability and accessibility.”

The whole subject of affordable housing is complex since it gets confused with homelessness, transitional housing and affordable home ownership.  In fact there is a continuum  illustrated by the graphic below. 

Housing Continuum
Housing Continuum

Of these categories, the CIP only addresses affordable rental housing and permits a wide range of incentives – see the full report in the Links below.

The programs are divided by Priority (primary and secondary focus) and “Areas of Consideration”.

The report includes a table listing the incentives to be available – here is a summarized version:

Primary Focus

Program Description Area of Consideration
Building Fee
Waiver Program
Grant up to 100% of fees Purpose-built Rental
Cash-in-Lieu of Parking Reduction Program Grant equal to up to 50% of the calculated Cash-in-Lieu of Parking fee Purpose-built Rental
Development Charge Grant Program Grant equal to a percentage of the Town development charge Purpose-built Rental
Property Tax Increment Grant Program Grant equal to the incremental increase in municipal property tax assessment for a period of five years Purpose-built Rental
Second Unit Fee Reduction Program Grant equal to up to 100% of the fees paid Second Unit/ Coach House
Second Unit Renovation and Construction
Grant/ Loan Program
Grant equal to 50% of eligible costs to homeowners to a maximum of $10,000
and/or
A loan equal to 70% of eligible costs to a maximum of $50,000. Minimum $5,000
Second Unit/ Coach House

Secondary Focus

Program Description Area of Consideration
Emergency and Transitional Housing
Fee Waiver Program
Grant equal to up to 100% of the fees paid Emergency & Transitional Housing
Emergency and Transitional Housing Development Charge Grant Program Grant equal to a percentage of the Town development charge Emergency & Transitional
Housing
Fee Reduction Program Grant equal to up to 50% of the fees paid Affordable Home Ownership
Development Charge Grant Program Grant equal to a percentage of the Town development charge Affordable Home Ownership
Brownfield Redevelopment Grant Program Grant for costs – most for 50% up to a maximum of $100,000 per property Brownfield
Universal Design Grant/ Loan Program 50% Grant to a maximum grant per property/ project of $10,000
and/or
70% Loan to a maximum of $50,000. Minimum loan of $5,000
Accessibility
Sustainable Design Grant/ Loan Program 50% grant to a maximum of $10,000
and/or
70% Loan equal to a maximum loan of $50,000. Minimum loan of $ 5,000
Sustainability

To use the program, Council would first have to allocate a budget amount and then during that budget year, developers or home owners would need to apply.

The plan includes a requirement for monitoring with an annual report to Council.  The report would cover a large range of factors indicating success (or otherwise) and “should include an assessment of the financial impact of the CIP to the Town”.

The motion passed in the COW Council meeting to approve the CIP included a requirement for “staff to put together an inventory of potential municipal owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities by March 22, 2021 for it to consider as potential support for Section 3.8.8 Donation or Sale of Surplus Lands of the Affordable and Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan”

It’s ironic that a recent report to Council (Service Levels Review) included a suggestion that Planning fees be increased yet many of the above programs suggest waiving some or all of these fees – at least in some cases.

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Liz Taylor
24 November 2020 6:04 am

Lastly should one feel upset the effects of affordable housing on their taxes due to lack of housing with increased population numbers in Canada here is a link to one of many articles regarding the great numbers of Federal employees paid to stay home, not work, but stay home and the cost during this pandemic so far. $439 Million.

https://torontosun.com/news/national/stunning-figure-covid-furloughs-of-federal-employees-cost-439m

MiriamM
22 November 2020 3:25 pm

There is an interesting interview with Moshe Safdie, the architect who designed the Habitat residences at Expo ’67, and his ideas on affordable housing today.

https://www.cbc.ca/arts/how-should-urban-design-evolve-from-the-pandemic-world-renowned-architect-moshe-safdie-has-ideas-1.5782427

Ken Strauss
Reply to  MiriamM
22 November 2020 5:16 pm

Thanks for the interesting interview. Unfortunately housing affordability and things that might help with pandemics — low density, large units, balconies, green space — are mutually exclusive. With the demands of an increasing population due to immigration, how can large lots, large houses and large parks be low cost?

Liz Taylor
Reply to  MiriamM
22 November 2020 11:13 pm

Good video Miriam Thoughtful design concepts to provide best living instead of slapping up small boxes. In answer to Ken, prior to amalgamation the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto had a division called City Home which provided Affordable Market rental housing. Very nice units, well maintained, clean but I guess it is all in the priorities. Amalgamated under the City of Toronto banner there was stronger union representation, promotion by seniority, temp to perm by seniority, a great amount of immediate hiring, creation of many permanent positions with immediate 100% benefit coverage, priorities had changed, the housing department was closed and the units became part of the Toronto Community Housing subsidized portfolio. We have all read of the many problems with that portfolio, high priced consultants and many very highly paid managers – yet nothing ever seems to get done.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz Taylor
23 November 2020 9:25 am

Of course it is possible to build affordable housing that is far nicer than “small boxes”. However, with high land costs, high servicing costs and high construction costs it is impossible to build such at an affordable cost. Somebody — occupant, others in the same development or taxpayers — must pay.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 November 2020 11:35 am

Ken – used to be rental apartments, home ownership were affordable on the private market. Today we are seeing people living with the majority of their money going to pay to have a roof over their head and of course the bottom not having anywhere they can afford to live. Poor thought process by the government not preparing by rapidly increasing the population which is competing for the existing housing driving up prices to unaffordable levels. Instead of government run social housing which as the example I gave which is not working, the money is going elsewhere they are trying to inspire building by private developers to create the needed housing. You can’t ignore someone having a pimple on the end of one’s nose as it is impossible to ignore this situation either.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 November 2020 1:40 pm

Yes especially in this town where the Sanitary sewers are at capacity and the infrastructure is an after thought Now paved streets , driveways and landscape on / through finished developments is being dug up and replaced at twice the cost to the developers and 3 time the inconvenience to the Neighbourhood .

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
23 November 2020 3:13 pm

Perhaps Sandpiper there is a silver lining. Many jobs, we are told, will never come back. Young people are training for the future, see Peterborough continuing education has a program training students in construction. Infrastructure everywhere and in many forms is inadequate for the greater number of people it services and much of it old and needing replacement. Housing all around there is a great need – plus a myriad of other areas – jobs, jobs, jobs. The changes are always met at first with resistance but change in our way of life is here. Hopefully COVID-19 vaccine comes out soon. There is much to be done.

Gerinator
21 November 2020 1:26 pm

No, No and again No. CIP is not intended to allow the Town to become involved as either a landlord and or a profit center from assistance in providing some monies to offset improvements. From my Sept 2020 post “Is there, or has there been, an attempt to seek reliable benchmarks for this type of expansion in the responsibilities of a municipality our size? We are moving into the jurisdiction of the county; we are moving away from the original concept of CIP i.e. funding small(ish) improvements to the downtown; we are moving toward scope changes from small(ish) downtown improvements to affordable housing to attainable and rental housing; we are moving from approx 50K$ budget to 250K$+. All of these adjustments require thoughtful analysis and political will; even the County appears to be cheering us on – why?” Nothing in the above report relieves my concerns expressed above.” The analysis, not just a consultant report, needs to also contain a risk (financial and legal) assessment. And where is the bloody business to do this! In short the tax payer in Cobourg should not be paying the shot for these social changes/ improvements. The County needs to step up and do… Read more »

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Gerinator
21 November 2020 5:36 pm

David Piccini just gave a great wad of money for this very purpose so it is not all on town taxpayers but Ontario taxpayers. The Federal Government was the one that kicked in on Munroe Street apartments. Yes the County should be more involved but Development fees come under the town do they not therefore the Town is decreasing development fees unless I am mistaken about who charges and collects them. Plus property taxes are administered by the Town therefore they are providing breaks to encourage this very necessary and neglected building.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Gerinator
21 November 2020 5:55 pm

Gerinator – Not paying the shot … I wrote to a Council member at one point stating about the every increasing rents in Cobourg – actually from $900 to $1500, to 1600 to $1700 and up plus utilities asking if there were plans to create Affordable rentals – the reply was we are aware of the situation but a bit nervous to do anything as the more well heeled here are likely to scream their heads off! Well I guess from the tone of many of the commenters is “Let them Eat Cake” we are comfortable why should they be?

SW Buyer
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 7:48 pm

Totally agree with you about the huge rise in rental costs over the past 5 years or so. There is some justification for part of the increase and this is covered (more/less) by the provincially mandated annual rate increase (typically same, more/less as the cost of living increase, about 2%). The rest is market pressure (opportunism, greed??) I also agree that the Town should do what it can to help mitigate the problem. That said, the prime responsibility for housing lies with the County and the provincial gov’t. There are sections in the municipal act that specifically limit/prohibit the Town from being a major player in the housing market. Also note that “affordable” housing rent and “controlled/subsidized/geared to income” rent are very different. The second is controlled/administered/provided by the County and a few charitable organizations such as Trinity Non-profit Housing. The rent charged is somewhat less than “affordable” rent. “Affordable” housing is provided by the builder (private sector) based on incentives from CMHC and the Town. “Affordable” rent is based on a CMHC formula and applies to some of the units in the development for a limited period of time (about 10 years). The majority of the units are priced… Read more »

Sandpiper
21 November 2020 9:52 am

This plays right into the Towns hands on the Tannery property they now own
They still insist that No offers were ever received but I know of 2 or more developers that are still interested today in that property But now they would have to build the Town dream .
Does anyone think that the property taxes that property owners and landlords are stuck with are simply to High these expense do get passed along to tenants as landlords have to debt service their properties Nothing has been for Free until this year and due to Covid many landlords are not able to collect rent from their tenants which are now sheltered from evection temporarily.!
How will the land lords many with mortgages recover, if not from more and future rent increases
the Govt . has not responded to that Yet

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 10:09 am

I have read also Sandpiper that many people that deferred their mortgage payments due to COVID-19 are now unable to make up the mortgage payments now the deferral time is over. Apparently home owners are renegating as well. The perfect storm. Look at 2008 in the U.S. when housing prices were just like here. Frightening should a collapse happen – all those people’s retirement savings will be saw dust.

Informed
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 12:07 pm

Fearmongering at its best

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Informed
21 November 2020 1:00 pm

Informed – there are just as many home owners renegging as tenants Informer – besides what has that got to do with the rapid increases in rents and home prices we have seen these last few years. Time the government recognized it. You can’t invite 20 people to your table for a 5 lb. chicken anymore than you can welcome thousands upon thousands of people through immigration and not have housing built and ready. So many people are over their head in the housing market should interest rates go up and should their jobs disappear for any length of time it is reality for many to lose their homes.

Informed
Reply to  Informed
21 November 2020 1:54 pm

Liz Taylor…Your comparisin to the USA market in 2008 is irrelevant and not even close to whats going on here. Interest rates will be low for at least a few years. Many people are refinancing into lower rates. Covid vacinnes are above the acceptable threshold of 50 or 60 % and are over 90 % effective( pending). Im looking at the glass half full. My comment was about your comment,not the topic.

Last edited 5 days ago by Informed
Liz Taylor
Reply to  Informed
21 November 2020 5:30 pm

Pardon Informed – about my comment not the topic. The topic is Affordable Housing and the consequences of very high priced real estate that has only become that way in the last 6 years. What happened in the U.S. is what is happening here – rapidly escalated real estate prices – interest rates and whether they are sustainable. The Interest Rate was poised to be increased just before COVID-19 then with COVID the Bank of Canada backed off. With COVID we presently have defaulting mortgages after the deferral period. Job loss, people over financed. Should house prices fall an owner will not be able to sell they will have to walk away, rents are ridiculous due to supply and demand. Time to do something about the situation especially for renters who have no other choice but to use a great deal of their budget on paying the rent. The unknown basket of goods – don’t see pensions increasing – Cobourg has an older age population with many retired or near it. Who said anything about half full glasses? We are talking about the reality of the situation.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
21 November 2020 9:13 pm

Yes, Informed, many have refinanced with lower rates. Very few Canadian mortgages are for longer than 5 years. What if rates increase significantly in 2025?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
22 November 2020 6:59 am

Rates have been going up and down for years. We have had low rates for years,albeit the lows rates now are historic,fueling demand for real estate and increasing debt for many. COVID 19 has also had a huge effect on the economy. Im not concerned with rates as I dont think anyone knows where they are headed after a few years. I am more concerned with how the provincial and federal debt from Covid is going to be serviced.Im actually more concerned how this will affect my kids and grandchildren.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
22 November 2020 4:42 pm

I agree that nobody knows where rates will be in the future but if you look at rates for the last 60 years (https://www.macrotrends.net/2015/fed-funds-rate-historical-chart) it is likely that they will be considerably higher than today. Your grandchildren don’t vote and politicians only care about the next election.

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 November 2020 7:01 am

I agree. The rates are artificially low mainly due to the central banks buying billions of government bonds and low inflation. Once the economy improves and inflation creaps up above the 2 % benchmark bonds will be sold off ending much of the government stimulus and rates will increase. The large government deficit will also be even more expensive due to higher rates.

ben burd
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 12:00 pm

I know of 2 or more developers that are still interested today in that property But now they would have to build the Town dream .”

And what would the dream be? The Council by adopting the CIP will be handing it all over to the developers. If they can build units following the Secondary Plan they are away to the races!

Sandpiper
Reply to  ben burd
21 November 2020 1:26 pm

The Town dream if you look at what planning is suggesting for the site are 2 extremes and life styles that are don’t always work well together Just wish full thinking
that High end train commuter lifestyle will work the lower income affordable
housing . It certainly is not conducive to profit driven construction and sales
if 1 part is intermingled with the other . Let the End user Buyer make their own decisions
Out of Town developers know more about construction cost and building an affordable development than the town They do their own use and market studies and determine if its a viable project at that land and servicing cost. With out all the hand outs
The Town can’t continue to be all things to all people in every development .

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 7:21 pm

Sandpiper – When living in Toronto my friend attained an apartment in a downtown exclusive apartment building. She had been married, her husband was negligent in his relationship to his son and a poor earner. She applied to City Home and lo and behold was awarded a wonderful apartment in an exclusive downtown building that was mixed income. Market Value and exclusive rentals. She worked full time for the Province of Ontario – Disability Benefits – she was accepted, no one thought what a low life and with unreliable support payments it was a luxury for her – – time line 1985. Not all people are low lives that are on lower income – I have known people in the higher income categories that won’t buy underwear unless on sale, only dine out when it is 2 for 1. Perhaps explains with all the million dollar homes in Grafton and Cobourg why Metro/Foodland isn’t busier and why No Frills has a booming business,

Sandpiper
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 8:14 pm

No one said anything about Low lifes its life style and attitude s .
people that care and those that want / expect to be Cared For

We in Cobourg and Cobourg Planning and Council simply don’t know about these programs , I have a number of friends Widows and Widowers
and a single parent that was left with a Handy capped child after a car accident in which the other parent died . The income and support programs were simply not enough BUT all of these people had to leave Cobourg
their home and head for Durham or Belleville to attain the Dignified housing
programs of which you speak . Thats the Big Why ?

Sandpiper
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 8:25 pm

May be you should look at the property Taxes again as a reason to live out side of Cobourg My Taxes in Cobourg have more than doubled in the past 10 yrs yet the taxes on our Waterfront Home in Grafton have only risen by 23 %
The house is now owned by our son and his family and the property value has also increased at a much higher rate than our house in town of equal values back then .
I also looked up some real estate listed with Forest Hill Realty today
a $5 + million dollar condo at 128 Hazelton Ave 3250 sq ft only has
a property tax of $3,862. 00 How can that be ? Why the difference ?
Please let me know

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 10:14 pm

Sandpiper – 1. Your property in Grafton waterfront changed hands to your son therefore a new current tax assessment was done 2. Multi million dollar homes are being built there. A house is valued to the properties on the street, you can contest the valuation if you find the 3 lowest priced properties and ask your home be assessed at that value 3. the mill rate may have changed there. I was mistaken, I stated my home in Toronto (who said anything about here?) was only $500. less than the current tax assessment of a home valued at 2 1/2 times its then worth today. Actually today that value of home is paying $83.00 a year more than I was for a home that was valued 2/12 times less. Yet the City of Toronto cries poor as they don’t reassess until a home is sold! Hope this helps Sandpiper

Sandpiper
Reply to  Liz Taylor
22 November 2020 9:15 am

Sorry Liz
but both properties carry about the same in Market value assessment
as of 3 yrs ago $800 K + when everything was brought up to date .
so all things being equal under a equal / fair market evaluation sys .
both should carry a fairly close Tax burden but that is not the Case
Our property Tax in Cobourg is just about double .

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
22 November 2020 12:28 pm

John, an excellent summary which should be required reading for every poster here.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 10:19 pm

Perhaps Cobourg updates it’s property tax assessments faster. However I know of people that purchased 11 years ago. Their property taxes have barely moved yet the value of their home has increased by $100,000 and they have never asked for the 3 low value tax re-assessments.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 11:01 pm

Sandpiper – Add on – can’t find a way to edit. The people I mentioned purchasing 11 years ago live in Cobourg yet their property taxes have barely moved Sandpiper. Some reasons for increase are home improvements such as adding an addition, a swimming pool etc. For some reason the area in which they live though has only gone up about $100,000 value. Don’t know why, nice homes, forced air. Ken Strauss advised me before they only up the taxes significantly on sale to new owner.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz Taylor
22 November 2020 9:29 am

MPAC updates assessments every four years. Increases in assessments result in “phased in” increases in property taxes. From the MPAC website:

… an increase in your property’s assessed value between the January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2016 legislated valuation dates was phased in over 2017 to 2020. The updated value is phased in over four years, so that in 2020, your property will reach the fully phased in 2016 value.

FWIW, I have not made any additions to my place nor added a swimming pool. Over the last ten years my property taxes have doubled.

Last edited 4 days ago by Ken Strauss
Bryan
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 11:16 pm

Liz:
Neither the Town or Toronto has anything to do with setting the assessed value of a property. MPAC, a provincial gov’t agency does this and annually provides the assessed property values to each municipality.

MPAC assesses properties on a 4 year cycle. The assessment increase is then phased in over the following 4 years. The last assessment was done in 2016. A new assessment was due in 2020 but has been delayed due to Covid. Assessment is done for new, renovated and demolished buildings on an ongoing basis.

The MPAC assessed value lags by at least 4 years. The 2020 MPAC valuation is the assessed value calculated in 2016.

https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment/AssessmentCycleandPhase

For additional information on:
the MPAC assessment process
MPAC valuation & property taxes
Compare property values

see
https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment

Last edited 4 days ago by Bryan
Liz Taylor
Reply to  Bryan
22 November 2020 12:36 pm

Thank you Ken, John and Bryan for further insight – I am about to read John’s link. Just prior to selling our MPAC statement assessed our home at $100,000 below what our home sold for that year. Real estate value was steady then it was a couple of years before the great leaps and bounds in value with values remaining quite steady so new tax assessments didn’t offer big increases. As I review what property taxes today are on homes there it surprises me to see on the ones reported they are paying today very close to what we were paying then, 7 years ago, with values so very much higher. $83. annually more. Each area has a mill rate which then is used to calculate the actual tax payment. Even with a different Mill rate it is puzzling then why Sandpiper has such a great discrepancy in his taxes as to his son’s unless the Mill rate for Grafton is that much lower than Cobourg’s to make such a vast difference in equally valued homes.

Bryan
Reply to  Liz Taylor
22 November 2020 1:23 pm

Liz:
You can see from the chart below the 2020 property tax rates for Grafton and Cobourg.
Two things to note: Cobourg’s taxes are higher and ALL of the difference is because Cobourg’s municipal tax is higher than A/H (Grafton)

Therefore, if the MPAC assessment of two properties in Cobourg and Grafton are the same, the Coburg property tax will be higher because the Cobourg mil rate is higher.

Hope this helps.

Alnwick/Haldimand RESIDENTIAL (RT)
Municipal 0.00546375
County 0.00471141
School 0.00153000
Total 0.01170516

Cobourg RESIDENTIAL (RT)
Municipal 0.0082450
County 0.00471141
School 0.00153000
Total 0.0144864

Last edited 4 days ago by Bryan
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz Taylor
22 November 2020 5:06 pm

The reason that my taxes have increased is two fold: 1) Cobourg spent $32,735,138 in 2007 and $49,539,024 in 2019. 2) I have changed nothing but MPAC believes that my property increased in value more than properties in some other neighbourhoods.

Bryan
Reply to  Bryan
22 November 2020 8:08 pm

The following is a brief outline of the municipal stucture in Ontario and an example of Toronto vs Cobourg property taxes.While not totally on topic, I think this information is relevant to the current discussions as it sets out who is responsible for what and provides an example for the Cobourg/Toronto property issue Types of municipalities: There are three types of Ontario municipalities, depending on whether they operate within a single-tier or two-tier government structure. Upper-tier and lower-tier municipalities in a two-tier structureTwo-tier structures are formed by: an upper-tier municipality (such as the Regional Municipality of York or the County of Huron) two or more lower-tier municipalities (such as the City of Richmond Hill or the Town of Goderich) Single-tier municipalitiesA single-tier municipality (such as the City of Toronto, the City of Stratford or the County of Brant) is not part of an upper-tier municipality. https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-ontario-municipalities As indicated: Toronto is a single-tier municipality. Northumberland, being a county, is an upper-tier (tier 1) municipality. Cobourg is a lower-tier (tier 2) municipality under Northumberland. Toronto’s 2020 property tax has the following components and mil rates: City rate .00451568 City Building Fund .00002202 Mil rate before education .00453670 Education .0016100 Total Toronto mil rate .00614670 Cobourg’s rates are Municipal .00824500… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Bryan
ben burd
21 November 2020 7:11 am

It is interesting to note that Council has once again left out the public option of supplying the need for affordable housing. There are plenty of examples – CO-OPs, public housing and the like. Cobourg has the land and the money to develop its own project but obviously lacks the understanding and political will and hives off the largest election issue to the County and developers. This CIP is a giveaway to the private sector that has failed miserably in the provision of affordable housing despite the mandate that large developments should dedicate 10% of supply to that category. Watch for the giveaway of the municipal lands – the largest of which is the Tannery Lands to a glib and probably underfunded developer looking for the inside track. Municipal planning in Cobourg has not been a success for advanced concepts, look at the failed experiment in urban design – New Amhearst. This concept was supposed to be a planned community of amenities and housing, all the developer has done is to maximise density at the expense of Village life – where is the village store and Pub that would complete the project. Just my two cents, all I can say… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Ben
Liz Taylor
20 November 2020 7:23 pm

Glad to note the issue of unaffordable housing is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

After reading through the articles I was disappointed not to see:
A) A figure reported for income to qualify based on lower end 60%
B) Number of units in each category currently approved – Affordable Home Ownership, Affordable Market Rent Housing and subsidized housing requiring the lowest income

In reading the Northumberland News I note David Piccini’s office has provided a grant to Cobourg for the development of modular housing units aimed at the homeless. All rentals have increased by leaps and bounds these past 6 years. Units renting for $950 then are now asking $1500. AirBnB is blamed for shortage in some areas otherwise it would appear to be people acquiring homes at exhorbitant cost qualifying by the very low continuing interest rates and re-cooping by high priced secondary units. Shortage in rental housing has caused great greed in this area.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Liz Taylor
20 November 2020 11:51 pm

With a local vacancy rate less than 1% it’s no surprise low income people are being squeezed out. Check this out: https://thehelpandlegalcentre.ca/help/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Rental-Listings-November-20.pdf

Sandpiper
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
21 November 2020 11:58 am

If the facts were revealed the Vacancy rate has been less than 1 % for more than 15 yrs now and all this Town does is talk and study instead of stream line to reduce carrying cost that have to be recovered . I have a complete lack of understanding
as to how our councils & the Mayor functions, and why the planning department head is allowed to continue to bury developers from out side of Northumberland in red tape .
The project next to the YMCA 80 to 90 units of apartments and family 30 Town homes
has been pushing to get in the ground for nearly 4 yrs now and all this red tape , studies and dragging them out year after year It only adds to the cost of the project and eventually leads to Cost inflated rents if the project ever gets off the ground .

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
21 November 2020 12:09 pm

The problem is not Council. The Planning Dept and its director do not report to Council, They report to the CAO. Council can only provide direction to the CAO and make policy. It is up to the CAO to put the policy and direction into action.

Developers who have been stymied should take their issues to the CAO. Hopefully CAO Tracey Vaughan, being the “new sheriff in town” will be responsive to their issues and provide the needed direction to the Planning director & staff.

Last edited 4 days ago by Bryan
Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
21 November 2020 1:13 pm

Great left and Right hands aren’t connected to 1 BRAIN

ben burd
Reply to  Sandpiper
24 November 2020 6:21 am

Obviously the developer has not been pushing very hard! That patch of land had a siteplan on it after negotiations with the then Council in the late 80s forty years ago. How can we blame the Town for tardiness when successive developers have refused to build on it despite approvals?

Jones
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 8:45 am

Rents are increasing by leaps and bounds and the provincial Govt control s the increases always under 2percent and 0 for 2021, while costs increase
You are right the Govt is greedy

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Jones
21 November 2020 9:35 am

Study up a little more, once a unit is vacant the sky is the limit for increasing the rent, the rent control is only for units occupied by a continuing renter. Recent builds they are exempt from rent controls. That leaves only a small portion subject to the controlled increases. With interest rates pretty well giving money away for development and property taxes, utilities are way under what the increases are – try multiplying a minimal increase of $500. a unit in a larger building you’ll find Jones the profit level of operation has greatly increased in comparison to costs.

Jones
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 10:00 am

How about we eliminate most of the Govt depts involved in this and replace with rental vouchers based on people income and then tenants would have the freedom to chose and the available rental units would increase

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Jones
21 November 2020 9:45 am

Also Jones out of curiosity I looked up the property tax rates where I used to reside. A home valued at 2 1/2 times the value of the home I owned was a mere $500. a year more today than what I was paying 7 years ago. The rents there have increased to be the highest in Canada. Supply and demand. Come one, come all – we haven’t prepared with housing for you nor services but come and make your home here. I agree on one point the government didn’t think things out very clearly to prepare for all the population they have invited.