Huron County listing housing shortage as a top priority stock photo. (Courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / cecilialim)

Huron County councillors are making it clear that the shortage of housing in the county is a priority.

Manager of Planning Denise Van Amersfoort says staff have been directed to come back to council with three options for affordable housing builds.

“So many of the options do include a one-bedroom apartment and the reason for that is that it’s reflective of the current wait list in Huron County. So we’re certainly looking to match any potential build in a way that can make the most impact with the wait list that we have,” said Van Amersfoort.

Van Amersfoort points out that it is not a challenge exclusive to Huron County but one that almost every municipality in the province is dealing with.

And it’s an issue that’s been recognized at both the federal and provincial levels.

She says they need to be speaking to each other, sharing what works, what didn’t work, and discussing innovative approaches that worked in other municipalities that could be replicated in Huron County.

There are some county-owned properties that would require some level of planning approval to accommodate apartments buildings and the planning department will be working through that process and engaging communities as needed.

“So the clear message from county council is that simply having shovel-ready sites is not enough, we need to actually be building and making concrete steps towards reducing the number of individuals on the wait list for affordable housing and that is what staff received direction to do,” said Van Amersfoort.