For some time, the County has been planning an expansion of affordable housing at their Elgin Park development and on Thursday July 23, $5.7M funding for it was announced through the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI) – that’s a joint Federal/Provincial initiative. The announcement was made by Steve Clark, (Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing) and Adam Vaughan (Federal MP & Parliamentary Secretary) – see photos below. There are currently 18 units at the development in 9 duplexes and when complete there will be 40 units in 8 two storey buildings of 4 plexes and 6 plexes including a shared green space with a playground and recreational area. The new money will fund 28 of the new units, all of which will be affordable, rent-geared-to-income, housing. The details of the project were provided in March 2019 – see link below.
Affordable housing is managed for the County by the Northumberland County Housing Corporation (NCHC). They currently have 344 owned and operated housing units which include rent-geared-to-income (RGI) and affordable rental options. This project will increase this number to 366. You can get more info on NCHC here – including agendas and minutes of their board meetings. The chair of their board of directors is Gil Brocanier and he also spoke at the announcement.
Since the existing units will not be habitable while the new units are constructed, as tenants vacate, their units will not be rented again. Work will be starting before the end of the year and no tenants will be evicted during the project since there are already some vacant units. There is more information on how this will be managed in the links on this page.
The project will take several years to complete and helps meet the needs in the County – especially Cobourg which has the highest demand in the County.
While all the speakers talked about the need for affordable housing, Minister Steve Clark made a point of mentioning how MPP David Piccini was “unwavering in his support for affordable housing”. He also said that “You [the county] are a model for housing projects”. Federal representative Adam Vaughan gave tribute to the County with “you can’t do this without strong local leaders”.
Although the public was not invited to the announcement, there were perhaps 30 people there, all wearing masks except while speaking and all practicing social distancing:
- Most County Councillors including Warden Bob Sanderson and Cobourg Mayor John Henderson
- County Staff including CAO Jennifer Moore
- MP Philip Lawrence
- MPP David Piccini
- NCHC board members including chair Gil Brocanier
Below are some photos of the speakers.
- County Plans expansion of affordable housing – 18 March 2019
- County Information on Subsidized and Emergency Housing
County Staff provided a report on this project to County Council on 26 August. Report includes a detailed description of the project. Download report here. (from County portal)