IHA spokesman calls for understanding
BY STEVEN WARBURTON
Staff Bill Kerr, the man who is in involved a legal battle in Ottawa, is the same man who spoke to North Glengarry council in September about building a seniors’ village in Alexandria, though he insists that the two are not related.
Late last month, the CBC reported that a number of families who hired Coach Homes of Ottawa to build houses for them “have been plagued by delays and shoddy construction, resulting in lawsuits, countersuits and even a complaint to police.”
According to the CBC report, many of the homes – which tend to be between 500 and 700 square feet – remain in a state of construction limbo. One frustrated client even brought in her own contractor to finish the project, only to be told that a number of construction deficiencies would make that work next to impossible. In September, Mr. Kerr, who is General Manager of Coach Homes, appeared before North Glengarry council on behalf of an organization called IHA Canada. At the meeting, he pitched a seniors’ village near Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital, where living units could cost as little as $800 per month. He also said IHA could likely pay for the construction itself without any funding commitments from the hospital or government.
North Glengarry CAO Sarah Huskinson shared the news about Coach Homes with council at a recent in camera meeting. She added that planning for the project is still in the infancy stage and that council is in contact with other stakeholders besides Mr. Kerr.
Deputy-Mayor Carma Williams agreed, saying council is still in the process of collecting information. “No decision has been made and we are continuing our investigation,” she said.
Mr. Kerr weighs in
Mr. Kerr says he only works for IHA and is neither the owner nor a shareholder. He says he simply does consulting work for the group as an advocate for affordable seniors’ housing.
“I want to be very clear that the events that occurred with Coach Homes are not affiliated in any way with IHA,” he said,
The company’s president, Will Ball, who was present while Mr. Kerr spoke to
agrees, saying, “The IHA ship is my ship to steer.”
As for the project, Mr. Ball says that it’s in the planning and design stage. Although he wouldn’t announce any sort of timeline, he said there should be a much clearer picture once the design is refined.
To each Lancaster business and to all Lancaster and area residents that supported Saturday night’s fundraiser for Missy and Rory Buchan, on behalf of the wine girls, husbands, volunteers and the Buchans, thank you. We served over 500 spaghetti dinners and once again Glengarry came together to support a neighbour, a friend, a family. How proud we are to call Glengarry, our home.