The mayor of Tignish has encouraged his town council to find solutions to a potential housing crisis.
“It’s coming to a crunch. We need housing,” Allan McInnis said during the council's March monthly meeting.
“There’s a great need for housing up in this area and it doesn’t seem that contractors are building in our area as much as I would like to see,” he said.
McInnis said a couple who had work in the area moved to Summerside and couldn't find a place to rent and also mentioned a newcomer who wanted to live in the community but could only find accommodations in Elmsdale.
McInnis said he’s been hearing that another 40 to 60 people are due to arrive in Tignish from the Philippines this spring. He suggested their employers will be able to provide accommodations for some of them but he doubts there will be room for everyone.
He said of having endorsed some potential immigrant investors. If any are selected by the provincial government, he said it would be highly recommended that they would move to the Tignish area, and they would need places to stay.
“Maybe, as a community, we might have to indulge in opening some land up around here some place, buying it and putting some smaller homes on it to accommodate some of these people who are moving into our community."
Mcnnis said he has already had some initial talks with property owners about opening up some land for development and with the provincial government about putting in a street to service new lots but he said, “It’s just at the beginning of the discussion.”
He also wants to arrange a meeting with contractors to impress upon them the need for more housing in the West Prince town.
Councillor Sam Arsenault reported he has reached out to a businessman who builds small, energy efficient homes.
“He seemed really excited about the possibility of getting some of them up this way,” said Arsenault and added he hopes to continue that discussion.
“If the demand is there and the supply is low and it’s going to impact our population, I’d sooner see them houses built in Tignish and have the newcomers reside in Tignish,” McInnis said.
He said neighbouring towns of Alberton and O’Leary have opened up subdivisions to spur residential development and wonders in Tignish should as well.