Township council wants issues addressed at Cannington housing complex

Brock Township council is asking Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation to take action following an array of issues at a new complex in Cannington.

Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer brought forward a motion at Monday’s (Oct. 5) committee of the whole meeting after a number of citizens reached out with concerns about Allan’s Place, a supportive housing complex that opened on McKay Street in early June.

Coun. Schummer noted that issues have also been raised by residents of the facility, who don’t necessarily feel “safe or comfortable” in their own homes.

“That really makes me concerned,” he said.

Reported issues include smoking in the units (as the facility is smoke-free), fights between occupants, drinking around the exterior of the property, trespassing on adjoining properties and the mishandling of property. There have even been reports of people defecating in the washing machines of the on-site laundry.

Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell was the lone member to vote against the motion, calling it “redundant.”

“I don’t think we should be telling the Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation that they need to do their jobs.”

The motion came following a presentation from Tracy Greig, the organization’s CEO.

She acknowledged that there have been issues – more than two dozen complaints have been received – but noted that recent staffing changes should have a positive effect.

“Now that we have a full-time superintendent on site, most of these issues should cease.”

According to Greive, there have been 12 interactions involving police at the facility, with two resulting in arrests.

“We will pursue eviction for any known arrests at our site,” she told members of council.

Twenty-seven tenants are from Durham Region, 15 from North Durham (Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge) and three from York Region.

While the majority of tenants are seniors, the building is also open to persons with disabilities including those involving mental health.

Greig briefly referenced the opening of a part-time SERVICE HUB at the site for tenants, homeless residents and those at risk of homelessness in North Durham.

Coun. Schummer noted that the facility had been marketed – by some members of council, past and present – exclusively as affordable housing for seniors and not supportive housing.

“This was sold to the community as a residence for seniors,” he said.

“We’ve been very clear anytime we’ve been asked,” Greig responded.

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