BARRIE, ONT. -- The federal government announced an insured loan of $26 million would support the City of Barrie to increase its affordable housing inventory.

Work on an eight-storey 93 unit apartment at 233-245 Dunlop Street is already underway.

"We've had a housing crisis in Barrie for more than 30 years, and it's stubbornly difficult to fix, but this project will go a little way to make it easier," said deputy mayor Barry Ward.

Ward said earlier this year council gave the green light to a similar affordable housing project on Bayfield Street.

He added this project would house over 100 people. "I understand that it should start immediately once all approvals are in place," said Ward.

According to the deputy mayor, these two projects alone will house hundreds of people.

In 2014, the County of Simcoe began a decade-long strategy to help increase affordable housing. Over that time, Greg Bishop, the general manager of the County's social and community services, said they had created over 23,000 affordable housing units and are nearing their goal.

"We have an overall target of 2,685 new units of affordable housing," Bishop noted.

As for the 93 units on Dunlop Street, tenants are expected to move in sometime in 2022.