Frustration as talks to turn parking into supportive housing in Sarnia drag

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A year after Sarnia offered a downtown parking lot as a spot for social housing, Lambton County says it wants to move forward and strike a deal for the land with the city.

But the pace of developing the 267 unit supportive housing development is frustrating Sarnia’s mayor.

In July 2023, Sarnia council offered the land to the county for housing as the number of homeless people increased in the city. Last month, the city formally approved the motion to have staff work with Lambton county officials to turn over the land.

The report on the plans for the parking lot came to Lambton County councillors Wednesday, saying staff wants to continue talking with Sarnia administrators about turning over the lot. But county officials are concerned about a city request to make part of the development public parking, saying the cost for insurance for public parking lots has skyrocketed.

“This is really frustrating,” said Bradley. “We offered this parking lot a year ago, and these issues should have been resolved by now between the two staffs.

“I just want to get some sense of urgency to resolving this… (we’re) losing months and months on moving forward and getting to our own goal of getting projects done within 18 months. Let’s just get this moving as quickly as possible.”

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