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After permitting fourplexes as-of-right, Tecumseh gets $4.4M in federal dollars

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The Town of Tecumseh has been awarded $4.4 million from the federal government's Housing Accelerator Fund to expedite the construction of 137 housing units over the next three years.

The funding is part of a larger goal to construct 5,800 units over the next decade, Liberal MP for Windsor-Tecumseh Irek Kusmierczyk announced Monday.

"The Town of Tecumseh is repeatedly recognized as one of the most livable communities in all of Canada," said Kusmierczyk. "We see that in the vision, the ambition and the bold plans to invest in transit, parks, trails, amenities and infrastructure."

According to Kusmierczyk, the Town of Tecumseh has committed to nine initiatives, which will be rolled out in line with receiving HAF dollars.

These include reducing development fees, reviewing zoning bylaws and fast-tracking permit applications for medium-density, duplex and multi-family homes such as townhouses and multiplexes.

Tecumseh's application for HAF dollars also allows for fourplexes as-of-right anywhere in the town.

The City of Windsor's application for tens of millions of dollars in HAF funding was recently denied after a majority of Windsor councillors did not support allowing fourplexes to be built anywhere in the city.

Speaking with reporters Monday, Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara acknowledged there are some in the town who do not support fourplexes going up anywhere in the town.

But, he added, "the status quo doesn't work anymore."

"Change sometimes is difficult. But let's put these fourplexes into context. They're not going to spring up like flowers here and there all over the place. There are requirements. We're not throwing our official plan out the window," said McNamara.

"They have to meet certain criteria obviously. Height restrictions, side yard requirements and some issues on parking and so forth have to be met."

McNamara points to data which shows Canada is expected to welcome 500,000 newcomers in 2025.

"And if you look in the last six months in particular, in our region, 1,000 new residents are coming in on a monthly basis. So we've got to house these folks and we have to make sure the supply of housing is there," the mayor added.

The Town of Tecumseh will receive the first 25 per cent of the $4.4 million upfront but will need to "meet certain milestones" to unlock the remaining funding over the next three years, according to Kusmierczyk.

"The mayor and council [for Tecumseh] really lead with facts," said Kusmierczyk.

"A smart approach that balances the concerns and questions of the residents but also knowing we need smart policies that get different types of housing built in the community."

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