In 2020, Council approved a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to provide a means for Council to fund subsidies to Affordable Housing. At the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting next Monday, Director of Planning and Development Glenn McGlashon will present his plan to implement this. Glenn proposes that there would be a well publicised call for applications which would then be reviewed by a new Ad Hoc Committee. The intent is to allocate the $162,195.50 remaining from the $250K budget – already $35,287 has been committed to Trinity Housing and $52,517.50 has been allocated to Northumberland County Housing. Glenn proposes a single intake starting in July with a final Council Decision by 1 November 2021. Work on projects must start within 18 months.
Purpose of CIP
Key focus areas (for more detail Download Glenn’s complete plan)
- Increasing the supply of purpose-built rental housing;
- Increasing the supply of smaller unit sizes;
- Promoting the development of second units;
- Promoting the development of mixed-ratio (market and affordable) developments; and,
- Supporting emergency and transitional housing services.
The whole subject of affordable housing is complex since it gets confused with homelessness, transitional housing and affordable home ownership. In fact there is a continuum illustrated by the graphic below as supplied by CMHC.
Despite the inclusion of emergency and transitional housing services in Glenn’s description, the CIP is not involved with these but focuses on Affordable Rental Housing – specifically: i) Purpose-built rental housing; and, ii) Second units.
The CIP program would support and work in conjunction with the incentives provided by the County, including the Affordable Housing Capital Grant Program which includes an investment of $1,000,000 towards eligible affordable housing projects throughout the County over the coming years.
It is proposed that the implementation of the CIP in 2021 should use a formal Intake process similar in nature to the Downtown Vitalization CIP, where proponents may submit applications for affordable housing projects, large or small, within a defined timeline for evaluation by the Town in accordance with the CIP program requirements.
It is hoped that the CIP Intake will attract proposals involving larger projects with multiple affordable units, however smaller projects such as second units and units created via infill will be supported under the CIP program.
Glenn recommends that Council appoint an ad-hoc committee or working group to conduct the CIP application evaluations. This will includes staff and representatives from Advisory committees plus the County Housing Services Manager (or designate).
|Housing CIP: CIP Program Initiation
|Week of July 5, 2021
|Tuesday, September 21, 2021
|Evaluation of Applications
|September 22 – October 1, 2021
|Report Due for CoW
|Thursday, October 14, 2021
|Committee of the Whole
|Monday, October 25, 2021
|Council (Final Decision)
|Monday, November 1, 2021
As part of the CIP Program Initiation step, municipal staff proposes to implement a comprehensive multi-media communication plan that includes promoting the CIP and the Intake process through newspaper/radio ads, the municipal website (Engage Cobourg), and the Town’s social media platforms. Application packages will be available on the municipal website.
Apart from the $250K budget, it’s unknown what the full impact of the CIP on staff resources will be until the program is activated and monitored over time but Glenn estimates that it “will require the dedication of a considerable amount of Planning and Finance staff time”.
Northumberland County has direct responsibility for the provision of affordable housing. They have a forgivable loan program where applicants can get up to $20K. Their web page includes a definition of affordable rents in Northumberland, includes who can apply and how to apply. And it’s not just for developers. Good information. Go to this page. There are also links on that page to other affordable Housing programs such as Subsidized Housing plus links to Northumberland Housing Corporation and more.
- Community Improvement Plan up for Final Approval – 20 Nov 2020 – article includes list of Grants & Loans
- CIP Public Meeting – 29 Sept 2020
- Download Approved CIP – Approved by Council on 23 November 2020.
- Implementation Plan as Proposed by Glen McGlashon