/Housing demand surprises Places for People organizer
Haliburton Highlands Health Services president and CEO Carolyn Plummer left director facilities and projects Peter Fearrey and board chairperson Dave Bonham with Minden Hills Reeve and Haliburton County Warden Brent Devolin presented the key to the newest residence for Places for People at 3 McPherson Street in Minden. P4P treasurer Max Ward secretary on the board of directors Shirley Moore and its vice-president Fay Martin accepted the key to their first leased property in this file photo from February 2017. DARREN LUM Staff

Housing demand surprises Places for People organizer

By Jenn Watt

Published April 13 2017

Fay Martin discovered the breadth of demand for housing when her not-for-profit Places for People advertised a rental house for the first time to the general population.

At least 20 calls or emails came in from people looking for accommodations from a range of situations financial and otherwise.

“[The advertisement] didn’t say it needed to be a family it didn’t talk about family composition it didn’t say what the rent rate was” says Martin. “It talked about where it was. That was all. A three bedroom house in Minden.”

That three bedroom house attracted interest from seven single-parent households seven couples with children four couples without children a single woman looking for summer accommodations and a few other family compositions.

A few were quite anxious to find something. Although some were seeking affordable housing that wasn’t the case with all. It was a clear message Martin says that the rental housing supply is lacking in Minden if not the greater region.

This rental home on McPherson Street in Minden is owned by Haliburton Highlands Health Services and is being run by Places for People or P4P under a five-year contract. The rent is not supplemented on this apartment which means the housing organization could have chosen any applicant. However because their mandate is affordable housing P4P chose to keep the rent low and select a tenant as they normally would.

According to Martin Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes has rental rates equivalent to (or surpassing) the City of Peterborough. For a bachelor apartment the county’s rental rate is just more than $600; for a one-bedroom it’s about $800 – these are the same as Peterborough. For a two-bedroom it’s more expensive in CKL/Haliburton County with rates just above $1000 (in Peterborough they’re just below). They’re also slightly above for three bedroom places at $1200 a month.

While affordable for some these rates are out of the range for many others especially coupled with utility costs.

“There’s no demography in the county that doesn’t need affordable housing: singles couples families” Martin says.