With only two days left in its community bond campaign, Places for People is nearing its target.
“We’re absolutely thrilled. It happened much faster than we anticipated, and although we’re not quite there, we’re right now at $790,000,” says organization president Jody Curry. “We’ve got lots of new applications coming in, and other people are following up. I’m absolutely confident we’re going to hit our $850,000.”
The campaign started in July and goes towards building 16 new affordable housing units, more than doubling the not-for-profit’s housing supply. Aside from directly funding the build, Curry says the bonds tidy up their finances and helps them apply for bigger loans, such as from the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation.
Curry says a developer has agreed to donate the land for the units, which has gotten the sign-off from both the County of Haliburton and Municipality of Dysart et al. However, she says it’s currently being appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal, which means they can’t start the project just yet.
If the approval comes through, Curry says they’ll begin drafting up plans, apply to bigger funders, and do another bond raise. “I would hope that if we have an approval by the middle of 2024, within a year to a year and a half we should have shovels in the ground,” she says.
Curry adds that there’s a dire need for affordable housing not just in Haliburton County, but across the country.
“Affordable is no longer for the very lowest of income people; affordable now means that this feller who pumps your gas or plows your driveway, cleans your house or checks out your groceries, can no longer afford to rent in Haliburton,” says Curry. “So, the need is huge. It’s just gotten worse since the pandemic and it’s right across the country. I feel people have been very committed to buying in [to these bonds] because they know it’s going to help people that are within their own community find a home.”
If you don’t make the Sept. 30 deadline to apply for the bonds, Curry says you can always help out by making a donation to the not-for-profit.