At Issue: Affordable Housing in Barrie

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Sam Gillett
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At Issue: Affordable Housing in Barrie

Barrie faces a housing crisis.

It’s ranked in the top ten of Canada’s most expensive housing markets — with COVID-19 driving house and rental prices up even higher. 

The city’s goal of 840 affordable units by 2024 and there’s been multiple projects in Barrie that seem to work towards this goal. 

Coral Sophia Lane Housing proposed a 108 unit apartment building on Bayfield street — with 70 of those units set to be affordable. 

But the term affordable housing — it’s definable. And it’s a term that scratches the surface of policy choices that have made it so difficult for people who are unhoused, or living rough in Barrie, to find housing solutions.

As Barrie City council discusses affordable housing, supportive housing, and ways in which to help all of Barrie find places to live, we wanted to dive into some of the background of housing issues in Barrie. 

Numerous solutions have been proposed: most recently, the council voted to approve a future supportive housing project on Vespra St -- the former location of a Firehall. 

However, without a clear understanding of affordable housing issues -- and Barrie's housing crisis -- it's difficult to have a holistic view of the problem and proposed solutions. 

Jennifer Van Gennip is a housing rights advocate, director of communications with Redwood Park Communities and the chair of Simcoe County Alliance to End homelessness. She's been long involved in Barrie's fight for equitable and affordable housing options. 

LJI journalist Sam Gillett talks to her about affordable housing, navigating the system of housing support, and how viewing housing through a different lens, might lead to more equitable solutions. 



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Video Upload Date: February 26, 2021

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