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City of Thunder Bay seeks input on housing development

Survey asks residents to weigh in on what kind of housing the city needs nd where development should be focussed
(File photo)

The City of Thunder Bay is looking for public input on a study that could set the tone for housing development in the community for years to come.

The city's housing land needs study will take a detailed look at the state of current housing needs and barriers to development in Thunder Bay, and forecast future housing needs. It will be accompanied by a strategy that will help guide future land use decisions.

“We want to hear the public’s ideas on the future of housing in Thunder Bay,” said senior planner Decio Lopes in a city release.

“This includes where homes are built, the types of homes we want to see, and how we can make the city a more inclusive place to live.”

Residents can fill out a survey at the city’s Get Involved website, which is open through March 1.

The survey asks questions like what kinds of housing the city needs more of, whether the city should do more to support affordable housing, what residents look for when moving to a new home, and whether they support approaches including urban infill or further subdivisions in outlying areas.

The study will “focus on sustainable and efficient use of land,” the city says.

City council passed a new zoning bylaw last year that looked to emphasize urban infill, loosening rules around backyard homes, additional units, and parking.

The land needs study is being funded through the provincial Streamline Development Approval Fund, introduced by the Ford government in an attempt to spur more housing development.

The study is being carried out with assistance from consultant HTFC Planning & Design, a Winnipeg-based landscape architecture and community planning firm.