Joint Media Release City of Kenora and Kenora District Services Board
Today, following the City’s Strategic Plan focusing on housing for our community, Council authorized the transfer of all assets and liabilities of the Kenora Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation to the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB).
Housing continues to be a priority for this Council not only working with developers to encourage new housing developments, but also the review of the current non-profit housing structure. Over the past year, the City of Kenora and the KDSB have been working on finding suitable properties to accommodate a variety of housing types. Often this is completed with a lens to vacant municipally-owned properties.
Council and the KDSB have made the present state of available housing and housing availability into the future a priority. We have a significant housing shortage in our community and while the City continues to work with a variety of developers on all types of housing, we also need to ensure the viability of the financial and capital position of non-profit housing in our community.
This transfer will allow the KDSB to invest in our community further with additional housing as they have the ability to leverage the equity in their current and now additional properties to support long-term financing in order to develop new housing units in the community. The KDSB, as stewards of the housing system for the District, has been proactive in addressing the future viability of its community housing projects. In the past, it has done financial viability assessments for each of its housing providers and sponsored training and information sessions with the boards on how to plan for their future. The KDSB understands the significant needs in our community and have included in the strategic goals stated in the District’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, to ensure that the current community and affordable housing stock is available for future generations.
The KDSB has made a commitment to the current tenants as well as the City that service levels will be maintained and tenants will be part of the transition process. Communication is already underway with the building tenants and various groups to answer questions and provide information on the transition.
“This is a positive transition in the City of Kenora which will allow for future builds in housing, long term viability of our current housing and the ability to invest in capital improvements in that housing. As we move forward we are confident this new leadership in non-profit housing in our community will be the most sustainable and strategic and will provide more available housing to start to address some of the significant shortages we are facing. We are thankful to the Kenora Municipal Non-Profit Housing Board who worked diligently with the housing management provider in the past to maintain the current buildings and ensure the viability of those buildings, and additionally thankful to the KDSB for their vision and strategic planning that will allow us to move forward and provide improved housing availability in our community.” States Mayor Daniel Reynard.
“Following the transition, the KDSB and the City of Kenora will be better positioned to ensure that the existing housing stock is sustainable and remains affordable for the many seniors and families that depend on the housing. The transfer of the Kenora Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation strategically positions KDSB to invest in the development of new affordable and accessible housing in the community. The KDSB will work to ensure that tenants will not be adversely impacted through this transition and that tenants can expect to continue to receive the same excellent level of service,” states Barry Baltessen, Board Chair, KDSB.