The first quarter of 2023 ended with a total waitlist of 1,003 for Bruce County Community Housing. This compares to 747 as of March 2022.

Of the 1,003, 955 are for rent-geared-to-income and 48 are for market. There are 297 families, 414 adults and 292 senior applications. Six applicants were housed between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2023.

The staff report presented to the human services committee indicated that the fire at 308 John St., Walkerton, has had a negative impact on the housing waitlist. Seventeen tenants have been relocated to vacant units across the county. Once 308 John St. is approved for occupancy, staff anticipate a number of units will become available.

According to the report, six per cent of those on the waitlist are receiving a rental subsidy or other housing support while they wait for a rent-geared-to-income unit. Over 30 per cent of those on the waitlist currently live outside Bruce County. Most have family connections or roots in the county.

A restoration update on 308 John St. was provided during the meeting of the Bruce County Housing Corporation on May 4.

The fire occurred on Dec. 1, 2022; a person has since been charged with arson.

The report indicated a full evacuation of 20 tenants took place; firefighters rescued several trapped by smoke and contained the fire to a second floor suite.

Tenants who had no alternative accommodation were sheltered at local hotels.

The report stated there was smoke and water damage throughout the structure, along with damage to the fire alarm system, electrical system, structure and exterior cladding, in addition to damage to the suite where the fire was.

A detailed analysis of the damage has been completed to guide the restoration and cleaning.

The report stated the first part of the five-phase restoration plan is done – determining the scope of the project – and the second phase is nearing completion – reviewing specifications, procurement of resources, tendering, finalizing contracts, permits, scheduling and kickoff meetings.

Still to be done are the execution, closeout and tenant re-occupancy phases – respectively consisting of construction and site meetings, final review, and authorization to safely re-occupy the building.

By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 12, 2023 at 07:00

This item reprinted with permission from   The Herald-Times   Walkerton, Ontario
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