Bruce County is an upper-tier municipality located on the shores of Lake Huron that stretches up the Saugeen Peninsula to Georgian Bay and in-land to a landscape of forestry and farmland.
Bruce County is home to many thriving, vibrant communities. However, there is work to be done to ensure the provision of safe, affordable, and suitable housing for all. Increasing the affordable housing stock is a key strategy in Bruce County‘s Housing and Homelessness Plan. Working with local developers and landlords to create affordable housing options is imperative for the continued success of residents, communities, and economies.
It is projected that over the next 25 years, Bruce County will have an older than average population, marked by an influx of younger retirees and population growth in the younger age brackets.
Building affordable housing of various types and forms in Bruce County will create housing options that reflect the life stages of individuals and families, contributing to the development of complete and inclusive communities. Housing is a major contributor to economic growth, social stability, and household wealth, while supporting community wellbeing and prosperity.
To support affordable development in the community, Bruce County launched the first phase of the Affordable Housing Toolkit earlier this year.
The initial phase shares an Affordable Housing 101 Guide to developers and is filled with foundational information and resources highlighting the context for affordable housing creation in Bruce County and its local municipalities. Phase 1 offers step-by-step guides, tools, and other resources to support development projects.
The toolkit offers a wealth of information and data to assist property owners and developers appreciate the need for affordable housing. The toolkit outlines the need for diverse development opportunities, including medium and high-density units, to support everyone‘s various housing needs. It is also being updated with 2021 Census data.
It is broadly accepted that housing is affordable when a household is not spending more than 30% of its income on housing costs. In Bruce County, affordable housing for low and moderate incomes for 2020 were monthly rents below $1,014 and ownership costs below $346,600.
You can explore the Affordable Housing 101 Guide at www.brucecounty.on.ca/affordable-housing-101.
Phase 2 of the Affordable Development toolkit, which is scheduled to be published this fall, will specifically target developers wanting to add density to the community for residents requiring this type of housing. These developments are imperative for supporting affordable rental and ownership.
Multi-residential buildings are in demand in Bruce County for both renters and owners. Residents are looking for housing options that are located close to amenities, and in walkable neighbourhoods. This style of home can be marketed to Bruce County‘s large senior population looking to downsize as well as young professionals moving to the area.
Phase 2 of the toolkit will also provide information on the various stages of the development process, including land, design, financing and funding, planning and approvals, and construction and occupancy.
Bruce County looks forward to working with local developers and sharing Phase 2 information of the Affordable Housing Toolkit.
Images provided by Bruce County. The header image is from 2021 when Bruce County Housing Corporation completed Penetangore Place – a 35-unit mixed use development featuring 15 RGI units, 10 affordable and 10 modest market units.
Tania Dickson is the Housing Services Manager with Bruce County. Tania was raised in Bruce County and returned to the area seven years ago when she accepted the position as Housing Services Manager. Tania is passionate about affordable and attainable housing. Her work as the Housing Services Manager provides her the opportunity to collaborate with community partners and other government agencies to develop strategic actions for her community.