Linking Hands set to bring ‘Places for People’ to Dundas County

MOUNTAIN— According to the 2016 Canada Census, roughly 45 percent of renters in Dundas County are spending more than 30 percent of their income on shelter costs. The average month rent is $858 in South Dundas and $840 in North Dundas, according to Linking Hands Dundas County. Also, in Dundas County, there is no social housing for families. The units that do exist are specifically for seniors and there’s a waiting list. Dundas County needs affordable rental properties for families.

“There is a large demand in our communities for affordable housing,” Habitat for Humanity Cornwall and the Counties’ Board of Directors Chair Hank Blasiak said. “Every person has the right to access safe, affordable housing and shelter around the world. By supporting organizations and efforts like Habitat for Humanity, we have the power to shape the communities around us.”

Linking Hands Dundas County wants to help residents find an affordable place to call home, Linking Hands coordinator Sandy Casselman said.

“Our housing group has found an affordable housing model we believe can be successfully recreated here in Dundas County,” she said. “The Places for People model not only helps families secure safe and affordable rental units, but also matches a mentor with each family to help the family reach its personalized goals. Linking Hands would like to lead the way in replicating this model for the vulnerable here in both North and South Dundas.”

Haliburton County Non-Profit Places for People Corporation creates secure affordable rental housing for those at risk of homelessness, and support tenants to make a positive difference in their lives. Achieving this mission includes: acquiring existing buildings with walking distance of essential services; renovating using community volunteer input; selecting tenants who will use long-term affordable housing to make a difference in their lives; providing a support team that helps tenants to integrate positively into the community; investing a small portion of the rent into a trust fund for each tenant; and growing the organization by leveraging its assets to acquire more property.

Fay Martin of Places for People Haliburton County will join us for two back-to-back information sessions in June. The first session, Monday, June 11, will take place in Township of North Dundas council chambers (636 St. Lawrence St., Winchester), while the second session, Tuesday, June 12, will take place in Municipality of South Dundas council chambers (34 Ottawa St., Morrisburg). Both sessions will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re looking for people who are passionate about building strong communities, people with the skills and/or time and energy to devote to improving life for everyone, whether through joining a new board of directors, lending skills or knowledge, or helping to fund or find funding to make this vision a reality. We will need contractors, lawyers, financial experts, real estate agents, social workers, and more to come together to start this exciting new project,” Casselman said. “There is a serious lack of affordable housing in Dundas County. Together, we can change that.”

A House of Lazarus initiative, Linking Hands is focused on addressing poverty-related issues in Dundas County. For more information, visit linkinghandsdundas.ca or contact Casselman at scasselman@houseoflazarus.com or by phone at 613-989-3830.

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