Kitchener Mayor says selling golf course not the answer to affordable housing
Published Thursday, December 19, 2019 8:57PM EST
KITCHENER -- The City of Brantford believes it may have found an answer to their affordable housing crisis.
Earlier this week Brantford passed a motion to sell the municipally owned Arrowdale Golf Course.
The 49 acre property is valued at $22 million and the city says they will put that money directly to affordable housing.
“We are trying to strike a balance between our desperate housing crisis in our community and finding the funds to finance an ambitious program meeting the concerns of the neighbourhood,” said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis.
Around 100 residents came to city hall to protest the sale.
Mayor Davis says he hopes they’ll eventually come around to the idea.
‘’They’ll have a really good open space park, I am hoping they see in a year or two they have something really nice rather than a golf course where they are either trespassing if they want to use it, or have to pay to play,” said Davis
The City of Kitchener owns and operates two golf courses, Doon Valley and Rockway Golf Course, sitting on a combined 370 acres of land.
Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic says they city is looking into creative ways to combat the affordable housing crisis, but says he doesn’t think selling the golf courses is the right move.
“We have asked staff to identify the properties that we have in the City of Kitchener that can be used for that purpose (affordable housing), on the issue of specifically golf courses, it isn't one that has come up for that particular use," said Vrbanovic.
According to Vrbanovic there are other properties that can be looked at before selling off green space.
"We have a lot of other properties that we can use for that purpose, quite frankly I wouldn’t want to jeopardize green space in our community that should be maintained, when we have others that can be used for that purpose,” said Vrbanovic.
Vrbanovic points out the city owned courses also provide a small revenue stream for the city.
The course make a combined $500,000 of that a portion goes to course improvements, debt repayment for the course addition that took place in 2010.
A dividend of $75,000 is returned to the city.
The property value of the golf courses is not known at this time.
City staff says they are working on a report to assess the value, that’s expected in the new year.