Housing Needs Study Reveals Demand for More Diverse Housing Options in Fort Erie

FORT ERIE, ON (November 21, 2019) Town Council recently reviewed a Fort Erie Housing Needs Study (HNS) initiated by the Town’s Affordable Housing Committee. The HNS outlined the existing demographic and housing situation within the Town.

Results of the study showed that the Town of Fort Erie is a community with diverse housing needs. The majority of the existing housing stock is single detached homes (83 per cent), which is typically suitable for families; however, the HNS revealed that single-person households are the most common type of household in Fort Erie (31 per cent).

“Fort Erie’s population aged 65 years or older is expected to double by 2041. Single-person households are expected to increase as the population ages and household sizes decrease. We need to ensure there is an adequate supply of housing options for our residents going forward,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop.

Core housing is another factor that is impacting the Town’s housing needs. The majority of households in Fort Erie who fall into the core housing category (14 per cent) earn a single-income that is less than $29,500 per year. Core housing is defined as a household that falls below at least one of the adequacy, affordability or suitability standards and would have to spend 30 per cent or more of its total before-tax income to pay for alternative, acceptable housing.

“There is a demonstrated need for alternative housing options to address factors such as aging in place, youth, the indigenous community and homelessness,” said Councillor Marina Butler. “If current construction rates continue, the demand for housing is likely to exceed supply making it harder for some people to move to the area or remain in Fort Erie.”

The HNS also revealed that the type of housing that is currently being built (primarily single-detached housing) is unlikely to meet the range of needs of the future population, which could significantly increase the rate of core housing need. Therefore, Town Council will be moving forward with recommendations made by the Town’s Affordable Housing Committee to implement the following:
• Regulating the type of housing that is built through its Official Plan
• Creating financial incentives for the development of priority housing types
• Facilitating partnerships with stakeholders to advance housing objectives that are common to multiple stakeholders

The Town’s Affordable Housing Committee is made up of members who represent various organizations such as Bridges Community Health Centre, Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Salvation Army and Seri Urban Homes Inc. For more information about the Housing Needs Study, residents can review Staff Report PDS-63-2019 or contact Lindsay Richardson at lrichardson@forterie.ca or 905-871-1600, ext. 2504.

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