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Developer offers affordable housing partnership to TBM

MacPherson Builders offered to build rental units adjacent to its Craigleith development and lease them to the town for 20 years in exchange for land
Russell Higgins of MacPherson Builders speaks to The Blue Mountains council on March 6.

The owners of a large development in Craigleith have reached out to The Blue Mountains council about a possible partnership to build affordable housing.

At council’s meeting on March 6, Russell Higgins of MacPherson Builders appeared as a delegation. MacPherson Builders own the 140-acre Home Farm Development in Craigleith adjacent to Helen St. and is currently working on building 215 units on the property.

Higgins pitched council a proposal to build 60 rental townhouses on town-owned property adjacent to the Home Farm Development on Grey County Road 19. A number of the units would be available to be leased to the town under a 20-year agreement for the town or the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation to rent out to local families.

A concept of the proposed development on Grey County Road 19.

Higgins said the units would be four-bedroom townhouses sized at 1,400 to 1,800 square feet, each would have a single-car garage and driveway.

“It provides an opportunity for rental stock in the area,” Higgins said.

The units would rent for an estimated $3,000 per month.

The deal would involve a land swap between the town at MacPherson Builders and the town would continue to retain property in the area for possible future service expansions.

Members of council were pleased with the presentation and the proposal and unanimously passed a resolution directing staff to continue the conversation with the developer.

Coun. Paula Hope referred to the “desperate” need for rental units in the community.

“We need everybody on the developer side being as open-minded as possible,” she said.

CAO Shawn Everitt said the town-owned land on County Road 19 was purchased in 2021 as a possible site for future expanded services in the Craigleith area.

“This partnership is a worthy exercise to go through. It provides some opportunities,” said Everitt.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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