Places for People (P4P) is proposing a new $2-2.5 million project to build 10-12 affordable housing units in Dysart by fall 2022.

The housing charity presented to council Aug. 25. They seek to partner with the municipality to create the new units, utilizing municipal property. The municipality is already assessing land assets to identify what is suitable for affordable housing, Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy said.

The group has historically bought and renovated run-down properties to rent them at affordable rates. But President Jody Curry said they are pivoting to new development to increase housing stock and have prepared to take that on.

“We’ve done it carefully and worked on it for quite some time,” Curry said. “We are ready to take on a multi-unit project right now.”

The group pitched the idea as part of the County’s overarching goal of producing 750 new affordable units over the next 10 years. Curry said the group hopes to contribute 40 units to that goal.

Curry said they envisions the units would be for one or two people, which they said is a market need. She said 76 per cent of households in the County are one or two persons but only six per cent of the housing stock is one bedroom.

“We will be an excellent partner because we have a proven track record,” Curry said. “A lot of experience with building partnerships and leveraging community resources to make hard work look easy and make seemingly overwhelming projects doable.”

The group also presented to County council Aug. 26, where they pitched the County-owned Haliburton Wee Care property as a good place for the development.

P4P treasurer Max Ward said they would use community bonds to help raise the money needed.

“Community bonds are a better investment than a GIC in many ways because an investor gets to invest in our community,” Ward said. “Money stays here and helps the County in all sorts of ways.”

Kennedy said the timing should work well with the municipality’s review of its property inventory.

“They’re ready to move, we have a desire to help support housing here in Dysart,” Kennedy said. “Great timing for us to take a look at it.”

“We’ll take the presentation and take it into consideration, and we’ll work with you,” Mayor Andrea Roberts said.

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