Mayors in the question box

Mayors in the question box

From left: CARP President Louise Ware, Quint West Mayor Jim Harrison, Belleville Mayor Mitch Banciuk, Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander (Photo: Mary Thomas/Quinte News)

About 50 people attended a meeting on Tuesday for a chance to question the mayors of the Quint area.

The session at the Quint Sports Center, sponsored by CARP, put Quint West Mayor Jim Harrison, Belleville Mayor Mitch Banciuk, Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander, in line to answer questions.

It was a long wait for affordable housing initially, with mayors specifying which public housing to build, but more government funds are needed to keep up with demand.

Panciuk said the need precedes what is done. “Statistically we are making progress but it is getting worse.”

CARP Louise Warr chair.

“We want the government there specifically, because it’s not their responsibility, but the government is also raising the AOS (Old Age Insurance) for those aged 65-74.”

Warr noted that there are a number of issues that the CARP program is concerned with.

“Affordable housing is great. We’ve been involved here in this since 2019.”

Asking mayors to make some changes and do what they need to do to get more housing here. and affordable housing.”

Warr also emphasized, “We want changes to long-term care. There are other, much better models for residents and staff.”

The mayors answered questions from the public for nearly two hours, almost all of them about housing.

Harrison noted that his city is working to modernize service, save land and encourage developers to build smaller homes.

Banciuk said Belleville has a list of affordable housing and that the list of housing includes the former police station that is now in use.

Ferguson noted that the county has 884 applicants on the waiting list, of whom 230 are 65 or older.

He said there could be a five to seven year wait.

Mayor Ostrander noted that 10% of new homes have second units.

They noted that government funding is earmarked for housing, some for smaller, more affordable units.

Ferguson pointed to the fact that the county has a “disproportionately large and elderly population”.

Banciuk noted that the city is paying Hastings County to deal with the problem for Belleville, and “is doing a good job with the old stock it has to deal with.”

He added, “We dip the water from a raging river in a cup of coffee.”

Rick Phillips, the Hastings County Sheriff, noted that “the city managers of Belleville, Quint West, and Hastings County are all working on a plan and adjusting it. They’re part of all of this.”
Warr explained that CARP is the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit, national, organization for seniors and seniors.

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