What is the state of affordable housing in Fort Erie?

According to a report describing the results of a housing needs study conducted on behalf of the city’s Affordable Housing Committee presented to council in November 2019, 1,800 households are in core housing need (defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as meeting one of the following conditions unaffordable, unsuitable or inadequate and no other market housing is available given household income). Affordable is defined as costing no more than 30% of monthly income.

At the time of the study, the city’s affordable housing inventory consisted of 539 units, the majority (389) being non-profit housing co-ops, followed by 116 owned by Niagara Regional Housing. The rest (34 dwellings) are those eligible for rent supplements.

What is done?

Fort Erie Regional Council. Tom Insinna outlined steps Niagara Region is taking to increase affordable housing stock in Niagara, including Fort Erie, at the June 27 council meeting.

He said the region has developed a consolidated housing master plan that will see the construction of 1,300 affordable housing units in Fort Erie over the next 25 years, “using existing land owned by the region and Niagara Regional Housing (NRH ); rather than going out and buying more property.

What about population growth? How does this impact the situation?

According to Insinna, the demand for affordable housing is expected to increase by 20,700 people by 2045.

“There will be a need for 479 new units per year in the region for the next 25 years to meet this demand,” he said.

To this end, 1,835 units are yet to come. The developers also plan to upgrade the current NRH sites. A further 5,900 homes will be built by non-profit housing corporations and 3,000 homes will be built as part of new developments, with senior housing being built through the expansion of the Linhaven long-term care home in St Catharines and the new Gilmore Lodge in Fort Erie.

What’s going on in Fort Erie right now?

Interviewed by Ward 3 Coun. Kim Zanko, when an affordable housing project at Crescent Park in Fort Erie becomes a reality, Insinna said it is hoped the project – which will include 18 units, will launch in August.