Kingsville hires firm to study temporary foreign worker housing

Hylander Farms, Essex. (Photo courtesy Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island)

The Town of Kingsville has hired a firm to carry out a study on housing for temporary migrant workers.

WSP Canada Incorporated is expected to start its work this month on a review of planning policies related to housing for temporary farmworkers.

Concerns about the quality of housing is not a new issue but came to a head during the pandemic when hundreds were infected with COVID-19. Workers across the province documented their living conditions on social media and three in Ontario died of the virus.

WSP Canada has consulted on housing policies for municipalities across the country. It has worked with the Town of Kingsville in the past on official plan and zoning by-law amendments and is familiar with the agriculture industry in Kingsville.

It will partner with SHS Consulting which has perspectives on temporary housing needs in Canada.

The project is expected to cost $49,690 and wrap up in April 2022.

Last August, town councillors passed an interim control by-law to restrict temporary foreign worker housing off-site from the farms where they work. The by-law will remain in effect until next August so council can implement any recommendations in the study.