Simcoe County is in the early stages of investigating turning a motel in Barrie into an affordable housing project, with tiny homes and a community garden on site.
“Right out of the gate, this motel conversion in Barrie is moving forward,” said Midland Mayor Gord McKay, who chairs the county’s affordable housing advisory committee. “There’s a lot of interest on tiny homes (too). This is all gaining momentum.”
More than 90 participants at a day-long affordable housing forum last month brainstormed on how to boost the array and stock of affordable housing in the region. They found out more about tiny homes, shipping container homes and other innovative housing forms.
But the question of converting former schools as well as motels into affordable housing kept coming up.
No site has been chosen yet, noted Nina Bifolchi, Wasaga Beach’s Deputy Mayor and affordable housing committee vice-chair.
“The proposal would include tiny homes and community gardens. We’re looking for information. The intent is to bring something back to the next affordable housing committee meeting,” she said.
The committee meets the third Friday of every month and includes not only county, Barrie and Orillia politicians, but also delegates from the development and health communities and the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness.
The committee is also recommending the county assist those in rooming houses with rent subsidies.