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LETTER: Housing is no longer a 'lower-class' issue

'Homelessness is becoming increasingly visible in all areas of Orillia' and it's time for council 'to invest in affordable housing,' letter writer stresses
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OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor (dave@orilliamatters.com) Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is about the lack of political response to affordable housing in Orillia.
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The City of Orillia has its mind set on expanding the housing situation in West Ridge. But where is the expansion of affordable housing? Homelessness is becoming increasingly visible in all areas of Orillia, and the Lighthouse services notably cannot keep up.

Housing is no longer a lower-class issue. The ricocheting effects of COVID-19 have left all income classes battling this issue. Average salaries, soaring rent prices, lack of available properties, and bidding wars pose incredibly unreasonable situations for many individuals.

The light at the end of the tunnel seems to stretch further away as we struggle to fulfill housing demands in Orillia. Are they available? If they are, they are not affordable housing.

The Affordable Housing Reserve Fund created in 2020 by city council was supposed to fund at least two projects within a ten-year timeframe but currently doesn't hold enough funds to sustain even one successful project. Council has vowed that incoming funds would pick up speed over the next couple of years, but this is not an issue that can be propelled into the future.

The council needs to invest in affordable housing as soon as possible. Being proactive is no longer an option; we are currently in the eye of the housing problem hurricane.

Anika Palaro

Ramara Township

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