Subsidized SD&G housing needs 43% increase over next decade: consultant

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – An affordable housing consultant says Cornwall and SD&G will need to boost its housing stock by 43 per cent over the next 10 years in order to meet demand.

Colliers International presented its findings from a 10 month study to Cornwall City Council Monday night.

The consultant says the city, which administers social housing for the United Counties of SD&G as well, needs 741 more units between now and 2031. It currently has 1,713 units spread across the district.

That will cost $275 million – $182.3 million from 2021-2016 and another $92.6 million between 2027 and 2031.

The greatest need is in the City of Cornwall, followed by North Dundas, South Glengarry and South Stormont. The type of housing needed is low rise apartments, followed by townhouses and row houses. As far as types of tenants seeking housing, the report says the greatest need is for seniors, non-senior singles and single parents with one child.

Mayor Bernadette Clement said she was “alarmed” by the $182 million price tag in the next five years. “Housing seriously looks like the single biggest issue we’re going to be dealing with going forward,” Clement stated.

When asked by Coun. Eric Bergeron what the next step should be, the consultant expressed that finding $200 million would be a good start. “Let’s focus on that,” a spokesman said. “Without funding, we cannot do anything.”

The city’s social services department is expected to put together a task force to work on social housing.