FOR THE GAZETTE
As part of an affordable housing initiative, Prince Edward County council will transfer a surplus property near Disraeli Street in Picton to its Affordable Housing Corporation to provide Indigenous youth with rental housing.
With the support of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, council approved the $2 transfer fee, which included a letter of support to be used with grant funding applications for the new property use.
At Tuesday’s regular council meeting, members also approved the transfer of $100,000 from the 2021 budget to offset carrying and site preparation costs for the project, and other projects under consideration.
Council will declare the housing corporation a ‘project of community interest’ to assist with tax receipts over a two-year period while the corporation changes to a charitable organization.
The land, which sits just off Disraeli Street in Picton, was owned and operated by the former Picton Public Utilities Commission for steel water pipe storage and was transferred to the municipality on Oct. 31, 2000 for $2 when Ontario Hydro replaced it. It had been fenced off and not used since the transfer took place.
Municipal staff noted the housing corporation is aware of the necessary extensions for water and sewer servicing and has looked into the possibilities for the property in depth.
Charles Dowdall, executive director of the housing corporation, noted the letter of support will help MBQ gain provincial and federal funding for the project to house youth on waiting lists – many of whom work in Prince Edward County.
Because seniors account for the largest portion of the housing wait list, followed by youth as the second largest portion, the MBQ is also seeking senior housing funding opportunities in Tyendinaga.
The transfer of the surplus property administrative and legal fees are estimated to be below $6,000 and are to be funded from the 2021 surplus property budget.
“I do believe that several other members of council have been hoping that this property would be surplused and used for its highest, best use and this seems to be the right direction,” Councillor Kate MacNaughton said.