One Thorold, a community organization consisting of various local business, religious and community leaders, is looking at developing a housing project to deal with the housing shortage in Thorold.
“We would like to add to the availability of housing in the community,” says Bill VanderKlippe, who is a member of the housing committee within One Thorold.
“We would like to have a project that provides housing for a blend of people so that a community would develop where people would know each other. And we would like to have those groups that could assist those people with some of the needs they may have on site or very close by.”
One Thorold, which was founded in 2018, has been working on the project, which is still in an exploratory phase, for quite some time now. Says VanderKlippe, “The first year One Thorold met we invited speakers from different parts of the community to come and speak to us and kind of highlight some of the needs they saw here in Thorold and one of the recurring need was the lack of adequate, affordable, available housing for certain members of our community.”
There are two groups that One Thorold has marked as the most in need of housing, according to VanderKlippe.
“We feel that the two groups that are the most obvious housing needs are single parents and some homeless singles and others who are for a lack of better term couch surfing, who are borrowing places to stay from friends and from families. ”
But that’s not all One Thorold is up to. Yesterday it was announced that the community organization is going to be working together with the City of Thorold and Michele-Elise Burnett, who is the president of Kakekalanicks and artistic director of Celebration of Nations, to highlight indigenous issues in Thorold.
As for the housing project, VanderKlippe says that even though the group is having some exploratory meeting with different developers, it will take at least a year or two until the project can get fully off the ground.
“We need to get funding in place, not only from within the community but we’re hoping there might be some branch, either from the region or from CMHC, or other government sources, that could help us with this. The One Thorold housing group made a presentation to city council last year and the councillors were very supportive and they pledged that whatever they could do to assist, they would.”