The town of Perth will be looking into the feasibility of providing more affordable housing for the community.
Town council voted 4-3 in favour of directing staff to prepare a report on the possible development of six affordable housing units on Harris Street, at the teleconference council meeting Tuesday, May 26.
Regan Lee presented a delegation in hopes of obtaining funding to connect existing sewer infrastructure onto Harris Street for the proposed housing units.
Lee plans to build six semi-detached houses with an affordability deed attached to them. The lower level units or accessory units would be rented out at an affordable rate.
“I’m not looking for a handout, I’m looking for a hand up to get these people in some decent living,” Lee said. “We’ve got a real problem on our hands.”
Mayor John Fenik said council is well aware of the lack of affordable housing in Perth, but disagreed with the town giving money to developers.
“If you call up the county (of Lanark) right now, they will tell you there are hundreds and hundreds of people in low-income looking for affordable housing or rent to gear housing,” Mayor Fenik said. “We are far behind the 8-ball on that here.”
Lee brought up the 110-unit building on Brockville Street in Smiths Falls with affordable housing units as a way forward for the town of Perth.
“I don’t see this as giving money to a developer; I see this as putting money into infrastructure that’s going to have to be done sooner or later on that street,” Lee said. “Sooner would help get people out of tents and surfing couches.”