Peabody: Housing continues to be a key issue for Brockton

·2 min read

BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody drew attention to one item on the agenda for the Aug. 4 meeting of Bruce County council – a delegation on the Saugeen Valley Children’s Safety Village.

The village, located at Sulphur Spring Conservation Area, gives safety training to thousands of school children on a variety of topics – farm safety, fire safety, water safety and much more.

It’s much more than a classroom – the site features miniature buildings, roadways and even traffic lights.

Peabody said he was on the original committee that envisioned the safety village 20 years ago, along with one of the executives from Bruce Power.

Also noted by the mayor are a number of items on the human services committee agenda, especially social housing.

The Community Housing Registry waitlist shows a 33 per cent increase in applications over last year. As of June 30, 2021, there were 604 applicants; as of the same date this year, the number is 843 applicants.

Peabody is particularly interested in the report on the Municipal Housing Allowance Program.

“It’s a great program,” he said.

The program will offer a housing allowance of $590 per month to assist 27 households beginning Sept. 1.

“The need is greater than ever,” said Peabody, who noted the “top three” communities are Saugeen Shores, Kincardine and Brockton.

The mayor made note of a report by the Bruce County Housing Corporation that indicates the “bad debt” numbers are up “significantly,” which he described as an indicator of the impact inflation is having.

Peabody remains interested in exploring what can be done in Brockton regarding affordable housing. What he’d like to see, he said, is the county partner with someone – “get the non-profits involved.” The municipal could provide land – Peabody said he has a particular property in mind.

He’s taking note of what’s being done in other communities. Indwell, a non-profit organization based in Hamilton, has housing projects in London and St. Thomas.

He’s also been watching the Glassworks Co-operative initiative in Owen Sound.

“They’d like to build a whole subdivision,” he said, adding that the group has planning and zoning issues.

“Their hurdles are immense.”

The property is zoned industrial.

On that note, Peabody said Brockton’s Minister’s Zoning Order application continues to progress. Present delays are due to the provincial election and subsequent reorganizing within the minister’s office. The land in question is located in the East Ridge Business Park and needs to be rezoned for residential use. The land, if rezoned, could potentially have over 500 housing units of various types including apartment buildings.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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