CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council learned on Monday that a task force on housing being formed by Mayor Bernadette Clement is ready to take shape.
Administration presented the terms of reference and proposed composition of the task force to Council.
The task force’s primary scope will be, in brief, to establish an understanding of the current state of housing in Cornwall, examine any barriers to housing development, identify tools to stimulate housing growth in the city, develop recommendations for increasing the supply of housing, and to engage the public.
The task force will be composed of 13 voting members, all appointed by the Mayor, and will include: the Mayor, one member of City Council, the MP, the MPP, one staff member representing the Social & Housing Services Department, one staff member representing the Planning Department, one staff member representing the Economic Development Department, one representative from St. Lawrence College, one representative from the Cornwall Construction Association, one representative from the Cornwall & District Real Estate Board, one representative from the Labour Market, one representative from the Local Immigration Partnership, and one representative from the Health Sector (preferably related to mental health).
Mayor Clement said that she wanted this task force to address the city’s need for regular housing, and social housing. A consultant hired by the city told Cornwall City Council in 2020 that they recommended that the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation add 741 affordable housing units to its stock over the next 10 years.
“When we say housing, we mean the whole broad range of housing,” Clement said. “It can include rent geared to income, to low income housing, to bungalows to multi-residential. There seems to be a lack of housing in all of those areas.”
The Mayor added that with Cornwall’s hot housing market, now was the time to address the issue of housing supply in the city.
“We have just seen a heating up of our housing market in general and we have people wondering how they will get into this market,” she said. “It is time for us to move forward because it has been urgent for awhile and it is only going to get more urgent as we move forward.”
“This is probably the biggest problem we face right now. We have all these jobs to fill, and nowhere for these people to live,” said Councillor Todd Bennett.
The task force will meet on a monthly basis and will provide updates to Council on its work every six months.