Blue Mountain Ratepayers' Association

First funds awarded for the Secondary Suite Grant Program

By T.S. Giilck

HEATHCOTE – June 20 was an auspicious occasion for the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation as it handed out its first funds under the Secondary Suite Grant Program.

A $5,000 cheque was presented to Meg and Mike Boyd, who put an addition (an attached granny flat) on to their house to accommodate Meg’s mother moving in with them.

Bruce Taylor, the president and chairman of the corporation, said “the committee originally came up with ideas on how to make us a sustainable community, and by that we mean measures to help seniors stay in place.

The program is a grant program where we’ll help people set up secondary suites in the basement, or in this case, the same floor, to help people rent out or to have seniors stay in place, as the case may be.”

The concept is to increase rental units in The Blue Mountains, where there is a serious shortage, Taylor said. The idea is to provide more rental units, possibly with rental income to help ease the burden of home ownership, and to encourage senior to stay in town.

“This is the first of hopefully many that will come to fruition over the next few years.”

The grant program offers up to $5,000 or 10 per cent of the value of construction.

“There was a big flurry of activity last year,” Taylor said, “but this was the only to come to fruition”.

“The rest kind of died on the vine,” he said. “Now we have four going ahead, one with a building permit already. We’d like to see a lot more of these units in the Thornbury settlement area.”

Meg Boyd said “this was started last August, with my mother selling her house.”

“We looked into the program and it helped pay for this. We love it. We are so lucky to have her close, and it’s stress-free. We originally looked at a garage with living quarters up above, but this was more practical in the end.”

Blue Mountains Deputy-mayor Gail Ardiel said it was exciting to see the first success of the program.

“It’s great to see people having these secondary suites. It’s a great step in the right direction to encourage families to stay in this area.”

Along with handing out that cheque to the Boyds, the corporation also announced a new down payment assistance program to residents.

The new program offers up to a $20,000 interest-free loan for down payments that don’t need to be repaid for 20 years.

“What we’re trying to do is help those people who’d like to live in The Blue Mountains but just can’t afford it,” Taylor said. “It’s like a hand up into purchasing a home.”

He said he had three inquiries about the program just on June 20.

Originally Posted on June 21, 2017 by tsgiilck in News, Up Front at