The District of Muskoka is taking early steps in a plan to improve community housing.

The Social Housing Asset Management Plan (AMP) was presented to councillors at a joint meeting of the Community and Planning Services and Finance and Corporate Services committees. The AMP is not meant to be set in stone, but rather to help outline priorities and inform decision making in the future, according to Judy Lightbound of HSC Business Solutions, the district’s consultant on the project.

According to the plan, the district currently has 17 buildings used for community housing. Of those, eight are in good condition and can be left “as is,” eight can be redeveloped to add extra units or be generally improved, and one is recommended to be sold to fund other housing.

Considerations in the plan include arranging temporary accommodations for tenants while their buildings are redeveloped, as well as consulting those tenants before decisions are made.

Samantha Hastings, Muskoka’s Commissioner of Community and Planning Services, told councillors that the district does not currently have enough staff or budget to fulfill their existing community housing obligations, let alone additional projects. Hastings added that figuring out staff and finances for the plan would be a good step before deciding how the plan would be run.

Council directed staff to see how much it would cost to implement the plan, as well as how much staffing would be needed. They also voted to defer discussions on whether or not the Muskoka Municipal Non Profit Housing Corporation would be in charge of the project, until 2023.

The staff report is expected to come back to committee before budget deliberations later this year.