Collingwood Developing an Affordable Housing Master Plan

The affordable housing crisis is challenging communities  across Canada. The Town of Collingwood believes that action can and should occur at all levels of government, in collaboration with local employers, local community groups and engaged citizens. That is why the Town is developing an Affordable Housing Master Plan – a ‘made-in-Collingwood’ solution that will give the Town prioritized, costed and actionable direction to help address our local housing crisis. 

“Simply saying we need more affordable housing is not enough. Collingwood is ready for an action plan, and I’m pleased to announce today that our Affordable Housing Master Plan will give us that clear and focused path forward to ensure that we have a vibrant, thriving, and sustainable community – today and into the future.”

Mayor Yvonne Hamlin

The Affordable Housing Master Plan builds on the work conducted by Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Task Force – an advisory body to Town Council and consisting of a group of dedicated volunteers who advocate for and champion the advancement of affordable housing objectives. 

The development of a Master Plan has kicked off with a thorough update of the data collected in the Affordable Housing Task Force’s 2021 Housing Needs Assessment. This update is currently underway and includes revising the 2016 census data contained in the previous report with 2021 census data and income levels. A comprehensive market survey of the rental, resale and new home sale market is also being conducted to provide a snapshot of current Collingwood-specific market pricing, trends, and characteristics, including the impact of rising interest rates.

The true power of the Affordable Housing Master Plan will come from the intentional community focus and collaboration. Surveys, public meetings, focus groups and targeted interviews will be scheduled in the coming weeks for residents, builders/developers, community groups, local partners, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders. 

“There isn’t one magic bullet solution to solve this complex problem. The solution lies in collaboration between all levels of government, local employers, the not-for-profit sector, private developers/builders, and individual community members who are willing to step up and act as champions for this important issue. We look forward to supporting the Town’s upcoming engagement activities and to seeing a plan that is built on collaboration and community.” 

Doug Linton, Chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force

Public engagement details will be released in the coming weeks. In the meantime, community members are invited to join the conversation at Share your ideas in the community forum – a safe space to provide information and resources to help build community knowledge about affordable housing. Or share your story and tell us how the affordable housing crisis has impacted you. 

Quick Facts about Affordable Housing in Collingwood
  • The term “affordable housing” is often used interchangeably with “social housing”, but they are two different things. Social housing is coordinated by the County of Simcoe, and it is a category that includes public housing, cooperatives, and non-profit providers that receive government funding to assist with rent subsidies and operating and capital costs. The County is responsible for planning, funding, and managing social housing programs where rents charged are based on income and provides services for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Affordable housing is defined as shelter costs that do not exceed 30% of gross household income.
  • The Town of Collingwood’s affordable housing efforts focuses on households that earn moderate levels of income. (Moderate income refers to households between the 4th and 6th income deciles. The income deciles are specific to household incomes of Collingwood residents.)
    • For moderate income homeowners, that annual household income range is approximately $70,000 – $98,000, which translates into an affordable purchase price of $248,000 – $391,000 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs.
    • For moderate income renters, that range is cut nearly in half, with household incomes at approximately $36,000 – $51,000, for which an affordable monthly rent is $900 – $1,300 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs
  • Not having enough affordable housing negatively impacts our community. A lack of affordable housing:
    • leads to a lack of diversity
    • puts our future sustainability at risk
    • makes it difficult for businesses to find and keep staff
    • contributes to food insecurity and increased stress, and
    • causes health problems and increases the strain on health and social services.
  • When there is adequate affordable housing, the entire community benefits. Sufficient affordable housing:
    • leads to an increase in diversity and equality,
    • improves community wellbeing and vibrancy
    • reduces the incidence of homelessness
    • creates stability for families,
    • improves health outcomes
    • reduces strain on health and social services
    • sustains our local economy, and
    • stabilizes and sustains our local workforce.

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