Parry Sound-Muskoka MP and recent candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party Scott Aitchison has now turned his attention to the affordable housing situation in Muskoka.
In a recent iPolitics article, Aitchison spoke about tackling the issue of affordable housing in Muskoka and in Canada more broadly.
“There’s too much politics around this issue, and it frustrates me,” he told iPolitics. “How can you expect anybody to self-actualize or, you know, lead a full and productive life if they don’t have a warm bed to sleep in at night? That’s where it all begins.”
As per the article, Aitchison is now working on a project in Bala that would see three acres of land owned by the local Legion turned into an 128-unit affordable housing unit. The project is entirely volunteer run and there has been little interest from investors. The article also stipulates the project lacks a federal government willing to champion it and local expertise that is specialized enough to navigate the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) application process. So, it sits at a standstill. Aitchison, who has been trying to get the project off the ground since 2020, believes it’s time to get it done with some cross-party collaboration.
The project does not qualify for CMHC, as it requires an investor that is able to put forward capital equivalent to 15 percent of the project’s total value ($7 million in Bala). If the criteria is met then the CMHC typically finances construction and long-term mortgage insurance.
Aitihson’s next steps to help advance the project include contacting Minister Ahmed Hussen, who deals with housing, diversity and inclusion. According to the article, Aitchison is optimistic that advancing the project in Bala might help spur more projects on affordable housing.
“For me, this isn’t about trying to score points against the federal government, because access to housing is life and death in some cases,” he said. “It’s just not enough to be well-meaning. We need to get this done.”
Read the full article from iPolitics here.
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