DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism
Intiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: The Region of Durham is looking for input from local residents on what has become a controversial planned development in Beaverton.
On Thursday, October 8th, the Region announced they will be holding a public information session and an online survey regarding services connected to a supportive housing project, planned to be built in Beaverton.
The public information session will be virtual, and will be held on Thursday, October 29th at 6:30 p.m.
“The services will range from medical care, mental health counselling, financial assistance, rental support, [to] seniors support and more. For the virtual session, Regional staff will provide an overview of the Beaverton Housing project, and residents of north Durham can register for a time to speak to a panel of Regional staff…,” read a Region of Durham press release.
The panel is expected to include: Durham CAO Elaine Baxter-Trahair; the Region’s Commissioner of Social Services Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou; Director of Housing Alan Robins and Director of Business Services Jenni Demanuele.
“The session will be live streamed, and each person who has registered to speak will be given three minutes to address the panel. Representatives of groups will be allotted five minutes to speak. Your feedback will be shared with the community and help inform service delivery decisions,” read the press release.
Those who wish to speak at the information session must register, by emailing SocialServices@durham.ca or calling 905-668-7711 ext. 2473.
The online survey is available to residents until October 30th, and can be filled out by going to durham.ca/YourVoice.
The supportive housing development has been opposed by a number of local residents, who are calling for the Region to undertake further study and consultation before moving forward with this project.
In a September 28th council agenda, resident Peter Bornemisa provided Brock council with a petition, opposing the development at 133 Main Street in Beaverton, which had over 1700 signatures. Mr. Bornemisa stated the process on the project has had a “complete lack of consultation with the residents of the Township” and felt, the location did not make sense for future residents to be able to achieve independence and personal growth.
In a recent delegation to council, another Beaverton resident, Jill Proctor, expressed her displeasure with the Region wanting to put a supporting housing development in “a little town with no health, education, police, employment or social services.”
“This project just makes no sense, and it will create an unfortunate dead end for any homeless [people] who chose to move here. Meanwhile, our local homeless will still not be supported, as there is no plan for priority access based on location,” she stated.
A previous Durham Region press release explained, the project is expected to include about 50 units, and will be designed as an apartment building for “single, bachelor-style living only.”