Muskoka Housing Task Force

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Housing is a basic need for everyone.

In March 2019, Muskoka District Council endorsed the recommendation for the creation of a grass-roots, diverse and action-oriented “task force” to identify and promote strategies and opportunities for a range of housing options across Muskoka.

The Muskoka Housing Task Force was born and is made up of community members, stakeholders, members of Muskoka District Council, and municipal staff. Membership is open to all stakeholders and community members with an interest in housing and will be fluid over time as Task Force projects and priorities evolve. Membership requires a commitment to attend quarterly meetings as well as to participate in task force projects and working groups. If you are interested in becoming a member, register now at the following link: Muskoka Housing Task Force Registration

With a focus on attainable housing, the Task Force mandate focuses on four areas:

  • Research and Evaluation: Deepen members’ knowledge and understanding of the existing attainable housing supply and demand in Muskoka, planning and financial tools to support the maintenance of attainable housing, as well as policies and programs to encourage attainable housing development in Muskoka;
  • Information Sharing and Outreach: Engage Community and Planning Services Committee, Muskoka District Council, Area Municipal Councils and the wider public in discussion on matters related to attainable housing in Muskoka as community champions and advocates for housing-related issues;
  • Foster Collaboration: identify opportunities that support the development and maintenance of attainable housing through collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, The District Municipality of Muskoka, Area Municipalities, Muskoka residents, financial and housing development partners, as well as other businesses, agencies and institutions with an interest in the housing needs of Muskoka residents; and,
  • Implementation and Demonstration: Undertake, facilitate, or support activities and projects that support the creation or maintenance of attainable housing in Muskoka, including seeking funding sources and participating directly in the delivery of policies, projects or programs that result in increasing housing supply or reducing barriers.

Through this page, the Task Force will share housing resources and information, including what Muskoka is doing to achieve our goal of housing for everyone, and what you can do to help.

Subscribe to receive project updates via email by entering your email address in the 'Follow Project' tool on this page (just look for the big blue megaphone on the upper right-hand corner of your desktop computer or scroll down on your mobile device).

Housing is a basic need for everyone.

In March 2019, Muskoka District Council endorsed the recommendation for the creation of a grass-roots, diverse and action-oriented “task force” to identify and promote strategies and opportunities for a range of housing options across Muskoka.

The Muskoka Housing Task Force was born and is made up of community members, stakeholders, members of Muskoka District Council, and municipal staff. Membership is open to all stakeholders and community members with an interest in housing and will be fluid over time as Task Force projects and priorities evolve. Membership requires a commitment to attend quarterly meetings as well as to participate in task force projects and working groups. If you are interested in becoming a member, register now at the following link: Muskoka Housing Task Force Registration

With a focus on attainable housing, the Task Force mandate focuses on four areas:

  • Research and Evaluation: Deepen members’ knowledge and understanding of the existing attainable housing supply and demand in Muskoka, planning and financial tools to support the maintenance of attainable housing, as well as policies and programs to encourage attainable housing development in Muskoka;
  • Information Sharing and Outreach: Engage Community and Planning Services Committee, Muskoka District Council, Area Municipal Councils and the wider public in discussion on matters related to attainable housing in Muskoka as community champions and advocates for housing-related issues;
  • Foster Collaboration: identify opportunities that support the development and maintenance of attainable housing through collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, The District Municipality of Muskoka, Area Municipalities, Muskoka residents, financial and housing development partners, as well as other businesses, agencies and institutions with an interest in the housing needs of Muskoka residents; and,
  • Implementation and Demonstration: Undertake, facilitate, or support activities and projects that support the creation or maintenance of attainable housing in Muskoka, including seeking funding sources and participating directly in the delivery of policies, projects or programs that result in increasing housing supply or reducing barriers.

Through this page, the Task Force will share housing resources and information, including what Muskoka is doing to achieve our goal of housing for everyone, and what you can do to help.

Subscribe to receive project updates via email by entering your email address in the 'Follow Project' tool on this page (just look for the big blue megaphone on the upper right-hand corner of your desktop computer or scroll down on your mobile device).

  • Muskoka Housing Task Force 101: Affordable vs. Attainable - What is the Difference?

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    Generally, when we refer to affordable housing, we are referring to housing that costs less than 30% of a household’s income before tax.

    For example, if a household earns $60,000 a year before tax, that household should spend less than $18,000 a year (or $1,500 a month) on total housing costs for the housing to be considered affordable.

    Affordability is only one piece of the puzzle, and that is why the Muskoka Housing Task Force is focused on attainable housing opportunities.

    Attainable housing refers to housing that is Adequate in condition (no major repairs needed) Appropriate in size (bedrooms appropriate for household) Affordable (costing less than 30% of before-tax income) Accessible to Services (located in areas where common services are available) and Available (a range of housing types).

    The more pieces missing, the more unstable housing becomes.

  • Muskoka Housing Task Force: Make the Connection! Wanted: Commercial Partners for District’s New Attainable Housing Head Lease Program

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    The District Municipality of Muskoka has launched a new Attainable Head Lease Program to help residents access attainable housing in Muskoka.

    Through the program, the District will work with private rental property owners and builders to secure residential units in the private market. The District can then make these units available at affordable rental rates consistent with current Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation market rates and provide ongoing support to landlords and tenants to achieve successful tenancies.

    If you are interested in this partnership opportunity, and the potential to achieve reliable long term rental income, please consider submitting a brief proposal. Funding is available for more than one partnership. RFP closes on Friday, September 10, 2021.

    Read the full release here: https://www.muskoka.on.ca/en/news/district-seeks-commercial-partner-for-attainable-housing-head-lease-program.aspx

  • Affordable Housing Funding Opportunity for Non-Profits

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    The District is looking for a non-profit organization interested in developing affordable rental units in Muskoka.
    OPHI funding of up to $285,100 is available to develop a minimum of two new affordable rental units for shovel-ready projects.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit an expression of interest to affordablehousing@muskoka.on.ca by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 13th, 2021

    Learn more at www.muskoka.on.ca/affordablehousingfunding.


  • Muskoka Housing Task Force 101: The Housing Continuum

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    Key Concept: The “Housing Continuum”

    The housing continuum shows a range of options for housing based on the needs and incomes of residents in a community.

    At one end of the housing continuum are people living in crisis who may be homeless or utilizing shelters. At the other end, there are independent renters or homeowners. In between these two ends are people who are paying their own rent but with a form of assistance or subsidy provided by a governing body or charitable organization.

    People may stay where they are, or they may also move through the housing continuum. When they move, space opens in their previous position for others to move into (like a ripple effect!)

    Examples of the current housing developments in Muskoka:

    Home for Good (HFG) – HFG is a form of Transitional Housing (see the orange bar on the continuum graphic) located at 49 Pine St. Bracebridge. This new build will house 12 young adults in Muskoka who may currently be utilizing emergency shelters or who are homeless. The new build will also provide 5 single affordable rental units (see dark blue bar on the continuum graphic) for people in our community. Increasing the supply of transitional housing, can open up space in emergency shelters and move individuals out of homelessness. Transitional housing programs provide access to supports and services to help individuals move towards stable housing solutions.

    Alexander Muskoka Property – A form of Subsidized Market Rent (see the dark blue bar on the continuum graphic) located on 520 Isaac Street Gravenhurst. This new build will bring 100+ retirement suites to seniors in Muskoka. The District worked with the builder and committed funding for 12 of the units to be set at affordable rental rates. When we increase the supply of subsidized market rents, we lessen the strain put on existing social or community housing (which has a very long waitlist). In addition, by setting units at affordable rates, we create more attainable housing in our community.

  • Muskoka Housing Task Force 101

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    There is a housing crisis in Muskoka, and great things are happening in our communities and by the Muskoka Housing Task Force to help address it.

    The Task Force has been coming together for just over two years to network, create partnerships, and discuss how to increase access to housing in Muskoka.

    We’ve learned about existing and alternative housing models, discussed development processes, examined funding models, and identified key concepts to understanding housing in our communities.

    Over the coming weeks, you will see more information and updates from the Task Force on the District’s social media platforms and shared by Task Force members.

    Watch for posts on the District's social media channels tagged “Muskoka Housing Task Force 101” “Muskoka Housing Task Force – Did You Know?” and “Muskoka Housing Task Force – Make the Connection”. These posts will help you better understand housing needs in our communities, what is happening in Muskoka to support increased access to housing, and what you can do to help.

    Stay Informed!

    From this page, you can subscribe to receive Task Force updates and information right to your inbox! Just look for the big megaphone on the upper right-hand corner of your desktop monitor, or scroll down on a mobile device and enter your email address to subscribe.

    Thank you for following along and connecting with us as we navigate opportunities to help increase housing for everyone.

  • RentSmart Certificate Program Now Available!

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    The RentSmart Certificate Course is being offered in partnership with the Muskoka Housing Task Force and Employment North. Through participating in the RentSmart Certificate Course, you will learn about:

    • Finding suitable housing;
    • Tenant rights and responsibilities;
    • Landlord responsibilities and expectations;
    • Maintenance do's and don'ts;
    • Communicating effectively with landlords, roommates, and
      neighbours; and
    • Budgeting and planning for affordable housing.

    At the completion of the course, you will receive a RentSmart Certificate which lets landlords know you are serious about being a responsible tenant.

    To obtain your certificate, you must attend the full course which is 6 sessions, 2 hours per session.

    The course runs from 10am-12pm on Tuesdays starting May 11 via the zoom platform. Course dates as follows: May 11, 18 & 25. June 1, 8 & 15.

    Course facilitators are Jennifer Tournour, Employment North and Mike Romaine, District of Muskoka.

    To register for the RentSmart Certificate Course please email Jennifer Tournour at jennifert@employmentnorth.com. The course is limited to 12 participants.

  • Market Rent Survey

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    The District is looking to better understand current market rental rates in Muskoka to help inform rental levels for affordable housing programs available through the District.

    We have launched an online Market Rent Survey for landlords and tenants in Muskoka to help collect this information.

    The Market Rent Survey is open until Friday, April 23, 2021, and is available at the following link:
    https://Online-forms.muskoka.on.ca/Housing/Affordable-Housing/Rent-Market-Survey

  • The District Municipality of Muskoka is looking for partnership opportunities for the Rapid Housing Initiative made available through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

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    The Government of Canada, through CMHC, has launched the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). The RHI is a $1 billion program to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable housing.

    The District would like to submit an eligible RHI project proposal to CMHC and is interested in partnering with an applicant who meets one or more of the following criteria:

    • is a modular builder that can meet a rapid production timeline; or
    • owns land on municipal services that is (currently) zoned multi-residential and may be interested in selling the property; or
    • owns and may be interested in selling a building or structure that can be converted to a multi-residential project (i.e. commercial conversion to residential or uninhabitable residential property brought to property standards); or
    • owns a motel or hotel and may be interested in selling the property; or
    • has a shovel ready, multi-residential, modular development planned or in progress and may be interested in selling.

    If you meet any of the above criteria and would like to seek a potential partnership opportunity with the District, our team would like to connect with you! Please send us an email briefly outlining your interest and qualifications by 4:00 pm on Friday, December 4th, 2020.

    Email Contact: Danielle Morgan, Manager, Housing Development
    danielle.morgan@muskoka.on.ca

    For further details and program requirements regarding the RHI please visit the District’s website at: www.muskoka.on.ca/affordablehousing

  • Welcome to the Muskoka Housing Task Force News Feed!

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    Welcome to the Muskoka Housing Task Force News Feed!

    We are excited to launch this newsfeed to share information, stats and facts related to the housing landscape across Muskoka and the work being completed by the Muskoka Housing Task Force. We will also use this feed to help establish connections across our communities and work to create more opportunities for attainable housing throughout Muskoka. We want to keep you informed of what Muskoka is doing to ensure housing for everyone.

    You can stay informed of Task Force updates by subscribing to this page (look for the big megaphone on the upper right-hand corner of your screen or scroll down on a mobile device).

    Thank you for following along and connecting with us as we navigate opportunities to help increase housing for everyone in Muskoka.

Page last updated: 02 September 2021, 10:12