Denise van Amersfoort – Senior Planner, Huron County. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)Denise van Amersfoort – Senior Planner, Huron County. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

County looking at ways to bring more housing in

Huron County's Planning Manager says The Smart Prosperity Institute recently completed a report called Baby Needs a New Home.

That report suggested that Ontario needs 1.5 million more homes. Denise Van Amersfoort says the report also indicated that Huron County needed 4,200 new units.

"So from 2017 to 2022 there was approximately 2,000 units approved through the planning process, so it's coming. That's not to say that all of those units have been constructed yet, so that will be the next challenge. But there has been quite a lot of approvals in the last couple of years," Van Amersfoort shared.

Van Amersfoort says some of those 2,000 units would be vacant lots.

"So some would be vacant lots that new houses can be built on, some are apartment units. So we are doing well, certainly, in the number of approvals that have been done. The next step is to get those buildings built, which is not necessarily easy either," explained Van Amersfoort.

Huron County staff are now tracking residential building permits across the county, Van Amersfoort says, and she adds from 2017 to 2021 they've seen a very sharp uptake in the number of those building permits being issued, particularly in 2021. The county is expecting to see that trend continue for 2022. So Van Amersfoort says that's another way for them to keep track of not only the units that are approved, but how many of them are actually built and then offered to the community.

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