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Perth council approves $1 land sale for affordable housing development

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The Town of Perth says it’s moving forward with plans to bolster affordable housing initiatives following a recent decision by town council.

On April 16, council voted in favour of a motion to proceed with an agreement with Carebridge Community Support (Carebridge), involving the sale of municipal land located at 63 Halton St. for a nominal fee of $1. In return, Carebridge will undertake the development of an affordable housing project on the site.

“Council is supportive of establishing more affordable housing initiatives within the community, and we recognize that this is an important and vital step in meeting our strategic priorities,” stated Mayor Judy Brown in a media release. “Carebridge has long expressed interest in developing affordable housing in Perth, and we’re looking forward to seeing their vision come to life on Halton Street.”

The media release explains that this move underscores Perth’s commitment to addressing the pressing need for affordable housing, as outlined in its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. With many residents facing financial challenges and local businesses struggling to attract workers, the provision of economical housing options has emerged as a priority for the municipality. In response, the town recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale of the designated land, stipulating that it must be used for affordable housing purposes for a minimum period of 30 years. Carebridge’s proposal was subsequently selected for Council’s consideration and approval.

The parcel of land in question falls within the PerthWorks sustainable neighbourhood project, which was initiated by the town in 2009 with funding support from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities green fund. The project’s guiding principles, formulated through collaboration with community stakeholders, emphasize the integration of mixed-form, affordable, and compact housing. Carebridge’s proposed development aligns with this vision, featuring a two-storey, 15-unit apartment complex that complements the original concept for the neighbourhood.

Once the agreement is completed for the land sale, Carebridge would be subject to the full planning process, which will include pre-consultation with staff, various studies, and opportunity for public engagement.

The Town views this agreement with Carebridge as a pivotal initial step in fostering the creation of affordable housing, with a commitment to furthering such development pathways in the future.

Both the provincial and federal governments have identified the need for housing starts, with a specific focus on affordable housing. Efforts are being made across all levels of government to achieve accessible housing, including accelerator funds, grant opportunities, and more. The media release says the Town of Perth is excited at this first step in creating an avenue for the creation of affordable housing and will continue to strive to establish pathways for development in the future.

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