Advocates call for action on homelessness and affordable housing as prices skyrocket in Northumberland

Columbus Centre warming room

Homelessness and affordable housing continue to be a pressing problem in Northumberland. Last winter, the Columbus Centre was opened as a warming room to give people without a home a place to get temporary shelter from the cold.

The show:

The full interview with bonus material:

The housing market in Northumberland is red hot. Sales in September were up 10 percent over the same time last year. The price of a single-family home was up 30 percent over a year ago.

If that doesn’t make you want to shake your head, think about this: The average home price in the county was more than $832,000. Renting a place can cost you anywhere from $1,500 a month to more than $3,000, depending on the apartment or house’s size, type, and location.

And while Premier Doug Ford announced an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, it is nowhere near the living wage of more than $18 an hour needed to live in Northumberland. At least that is according to the Ontario Living Wage Network – a group of businesses dedicated to paying employees enough money to live.

So, what can be done when it comes to finding an affordable place to live in Northumberland?

In this interview, two experts hope to shed some light on this topic. Joining me are Dave Sheffield, executive director of the Green Wood Coalition, and Meghan MacDonald, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Northumberland. David wrote an open letter to federal politicians in a recent newsletter for Green Wood. We will talk to both David and Meaghan about what it said and what it means for Northumberland.

Originally aired: Nov. 5, 2021

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