The group planning an attainable housing complex in Thornbury is looking for feedback from those who will need the apartments.
The Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation (BMAHC) is hoping that by registering potential tenants it can flush out some additional feedback from the project’s target market.
“I don't want to talk to the person who's living in a million-dollar house as to what they think we should do with building specifics… I want to hear from the people who will be actually living there,” said Coun. Rob Sampson, chair of the BMAHC.
The BMAHC recently opened a registration process for prospective tenants for the future Gateway site, which is located at 171 King St East in Thornbury.
Anyone interested in becoming a future tenant of the Gateway site is being asked to register and provide basic information and details on what type of future home they are looking for, which can include details on unit size, accessibility, parking, input on rental rates, and what is realistically “attainable” for their situation.
A formal application process for tenancy at Gateway will be developed after the project design is known.
So, who is the target market? The BMAHC recently approved its eligibility policy, which outlines the criteria future tenants will need to meet in order to be considered for tenancy.
Among other requirements, the policy outlines that applicants must have an annual gross income of $40,000 to $100,000 and no more than $100,000 in assets.
According to Sampson, there is currently no member on the board who would meet the project’s defined eligibility criteria.
“We should have somebody in that target range on the board and maybe this list will help us get somebody,” Sampson said. “The reality is that the people we want to be occupying these buildings are not here right now. So, how do we get their opinions on this project? Well, one of the ways is to do this is by developing a contact list.”
Sharon McCormack, executive director of the BMAHC says the board recently brought on Carolyn Letourneau, executive director of Beaver Valley Outreach, to help provide a more well-rounded perspective of the housing challenges in the Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM).
“In terms of that connection to people who are in need of housing, last month Carolyn joined the board for that reason. We do want to start to hear from these people and the community leaders in that area. It is important to be in touch with the people that we're looking to serve and I think Carolyn brings that aspect,” she said.
Sampson adds that the BMAHC will always value and communicate with TBM’s current ratepayers and residents, but for this project, including perspective from potential tenants will be critical.
“We're hoping that when we cast this net out, we might actually get ahold of some of the people who might eventually be looking to live in the building. But, it's a huge challenge in this town,” he said.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca