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Windsor misses housing target, but city’s not alone

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The province has released a list tracking the progress of the 50 largest municipalities in Ontario and their progress towards hitting the target of 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Windsor's Target for the Building Faster Fund in 2023 was 953 housing starts as defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), who said the city's official count was 606 housing starts.

“CMHC has provided us with information on how they would like the data reported. How frequently they would like it reported,” said Jelena Payne, the city’s commissioner of Economic Development.

By missing their target for 2023, Windsor is missing out on approximately $3.3 million. However, according to Payne, based on the number of permits issued last year, their number is 1,311 housing starts.

“We continue to have those discussions with MMAH (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing) and AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) to help them understand the value added of counting units regardless of the type,” Payne said.

The city will be submitting their numbers to the CMHC next week for review.

City Coun. Kieran McKenzie said the city has done all it can do to expedite shovels in the ground for builders.

“There's certainly perhaps more we can consider doing and those are definitely strategies that I'm open to and proposing,” McKenzie said.

Payne is optimistic about Windsor's chances of qualifying for funding once the data is rectified, even if it applies for 2024.

“We will not only meet, but surpass the targets that have been set for us in 2024, and we will be eligible for the base funding and any bonus funding,” Payne said.

Twenty-four municipalities, almost half of the 50 cities the province is tracking during this three-year program, missed the target.

One that didn’t miss is Chatham-Kent, which exceeded its annual goal by 644 per cent, the highest in the province, starting a total of 522 homes.

“That was with the interest rate impacts we’re experiencing right across the economy,” said Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff. “We’re thrilled here in Chatham-Kent to be seen as such a growing community.”

Payne said municipalities sorting through the process that didn't meet their target will have a chance to apply for provincial funding, “We will definitely be applying for this second round of funding that has been announced by the province.”

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