Midhurst/November 22, 2023 – Earlier today, Simcoe County Warden Basil Clarke was joined by community partners to raise awareness about National Housing Day at the County's soon-to-open affordable housing and community services campus in Orillia, currently in its last phase of construction.
“National Housing Day is an important awareness initiative and I can't think of a better place to engage our communities than our affordable housing build in Orillia," said Warden Basil Clarke. “It will soon welcome its first 130 families, seniors, and individuals, as well as community service providers, and will continue to serve thousands more in the years to come. As the regional system manager for social services and affordable housing, we know that the needs in our region are growing. We've made huge strides forward in building up more affordable homes for individuals, families, and seniors in need than ever before in Simcoe County. We are committed to investing even more in the coming years, but we can't do it alone. This National Housing Day, we are calling on partners from all sectors to help us in building more affordable homes in Simcoe County, faster."
As part of the County of Simcoe's 10-year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy, which began in 2014, the region has committed to investing over $300 million in affordable housing, including many larger affordable rental builds:
- Collingwood: Opened in 2019, these two unique mixed-use buildings have 147 total affordable housing units. On-site services include an EarlyON Child and Family Centre, Ontario Works, Children's Services, the Simcoe County District School Board (adult learning programs), Empower Simcoe, and drop-in/satellite office space for various community agencies and partners including Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Disability Support Program and various health services.
- Wasaga Beach: Opened in spring 2020, this site offers 99 units of affordable housing for singles, families, and seniors. It is located in the beautiful town of Wasaga Beach, within walking distance of public parks, public beachfront, transit, schools, shopping and amenities.
- Tay (Victoria Harbour): Opened in fall 2020, this 41-unit building features accessible trails and is located near public parks, shopping and amenities. The site offers affordable rental housing to seniors and persons with disabilities.
- Orillia: Expected to welcome its first tenants in spring 2024, this multi-use development includes 130 mixed affordable residential units designed for seniors, families, and individuals. The development also includes a number of community services, primarily on the ground level. Ground floor resources and supports through County of Simcoe services include Ontario Works, Children and Community Services, and Social Housing offices, as well as Corporate County services.
- Bradford West Gwillimbury: The new 50-unit affordable housing building in Bradford West Gwillimbury is expected to welcome its first residents in late 2024. Built on land generously donated for this purpose by the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, when complete, it will create an attractive streetscape with good connectivity to transit and adjacent walking trails. The building will be within walking distance of the Town's future civic plaza, downtown commercial amenities, elementary schools, ample green space parks, and the nearby GO Station.
- Barrie: The Rose Street project is expected to be completed in 2026/27 with 215 affordable rentals, and a large commercial and community services space in the City of Barrie. Accessible to transit, shopping, and employment, once built, this development will be the largest County build to date.
About Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy
Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy is building up our communities by setting real targets and goals to create more affordable housing within communities across Simcoe County. The County's strategy continues to build up support for residents by maximizing funding, achieving targets, and working with area partners to create affordable housing units for residents across the County. The County was proud to announce that they exceeded the Strategy's initial target by December 31, 2022, one year ahead of schedule. As of September 30, 2023, the County of Simcoe has created over 3,134 new affordable homes for people and families across the region. More information can be found at simcoe.ca/ourahhps.
The County is currently working to build a newly updated, strong, and resilient strategy for 2024-2034 that takes into account the needs of today and provides flexibility for the years to come. This strategy will be brought to County Council for review in early 2024.
About the County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
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Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department