Spending Affordable Housing CIP Budget

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)

  1. Increasing the supply of purpose-built rental housing;
  2. Increasing the supply of smaller unit sizes;
  3. Promoting the development of second units;
  4. Promoting the development of mixed-ratio (market and affordable) developments; and,
  5. 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. 

Housing Continuum
Housing Continuum

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.

Proposed Intake

Glenn proposes:

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).

Schedule

Housing CIP: CIP Program Initiation Week of July 5, 2021
Submission Deadline 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.

Cost

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”.

Additional Information

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.

Links

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18 Comments
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Merle Gingrich
18 June 2021 5:15 pm

I was’nt nessatarily referring to town council, but whatever council, both should come under fire.

Merle Gingrich
18 June 2021 12:38 pm

I agree with JimT, We have many “Smart” Councilors” What I would like to know is who would vote against using the older Golden Plow as a backup affordable housing establishment?

Bryan
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
18 June 2021 1:13 pm

Merle and Jones:
As Jim T indicates, Cobourg Council has no authority over the Golden Plow.
It is a creature of the County. Similarly, housing is a County responsibility.
Perhaps you can interest County Council is your plan.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bryan
cornbread
18 June 2021 9:22 am

This CIP program is just another socialism project in addition to the already County, Province and Federal social projects. Where does it end? Our taxes are already about the highest in Ontario.

Bloated Senior
Reply to  cornbread
18 June 2021 3:27 pm

You quite obviously have not a clue regarding the definition of socialism.

ben burd
Reply to  Bloated Senior
18 June 2021 6:35 pm

where’s the like button?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bloated Senior
18 June 2021 6:49 pm

As one more knowledgeable than Bloated Senior, do you care to provide an alternate viewpoint?

Last edited 4 months ago by Ken Strauss
ben burd
Reply to  Ken Strauss
19 June 2021 9:09 am

No, whatever insight I might provide would not penetrate the ignorance of those parroting mems and slogans.

JimT
18 June 2021 8:15 am

“Northumberland County has direct responsibility for the provision of affordable housing” yet is determined to spend a big chunk of taxpayers’ money to demolish Golden Plough Lodge as soon as the new facility is completed next door. 

GPL is a 151-bed long-term care home with working electricals, heating, plumbing and even air-conditioning in many areas. Probably wouldn’t cost much more to convert it to some combination of emergency shelter, transitional housing, social housing and affordable rental housing than it will to demolish it.

Instead, they’re going to tear it down.
comment image

Last edited 4 months ago by JimT
Jones
Reply to  JimT
18 June 2021 8:54 am

You make an excellent point,
We need to rotate our councilor s
If they can’t see this

Jeffy
Reply to  JimT
18 June 2021 10:43 am

The suites don’t have kitchens.

JimT
Reply to  Jeffy
18 June 2021 11:13 am

You cut a doorway between two adjoining rooms, maybe change one of the bathrooms into a kitchenette – the plumbing is already in place – and you have bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Communal dining rooms with kitchens are already there, also, for those who don’t or can’t cook.

Group homes, boarding houses, emergency shelters, transitional housing etc. don’t have individual kitchens, either.

Last edited 4 months ago by JimT
MCGA
Reply to  Jeffy
19 June 2021 9:40 am

With a bit of imagination and a creative engineering/architectural team I suspect that the GPL building could be effectively repurposed for low income housing. My family use to drive by this old Bulova watch factory on the way to church every summer Sunday. Even back in the late ’50s it would have made a great site for a Stephen King horror movie. If you can take that abandoned, dilapidated factory, built in 1881, and turn it into much more elaborate accommodations (please see below) than surely we can affect a more modest transition for a much more modern structure. Posh condos fill the 19th-century Watchcase building in Sag Harbor – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)

Bill Thompson
Reply to  JimT
18 June 2021 2:41 pm

Unless I am mistaken ,Mayor Henderson and Councillor Mandy Martin are both members of the Northumberland County.Council
Mayor Brocanier was also a member I believe.

MiriamM
Reply to  Bill Thompson
18 June 2021 4:09 pm

There is an even stronger connection with experience between County housing and Cobourg. Information from the County web site, the Northumberland County Housing Corporation has a Board of Directors. The Chair is former County Councillor and Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier. Also a NCHC Director is current County Councillor and Cobourg Mayor John Henderson who is also the Chair of the Social Services Committee of County Council. Another NCHC board member, among others, is former long-time Northumberland area MPP Lou Rinaldi. All people who have a broad scope of knowledge and understanding of local needs. In addition, Cobourg taxpayers contribute a significant portion of the tax levy for Northumberland County. The NCHC Board meetings and minutes are available on the County web site. Current County Councillor and Mayor of Cramahe Mandy Martin is a strong advocate for affordable housing, too.

So, why not repurpose the GPL as housing? JimT has raised a very important topic (35 up votes at time I write this and counting). An excellent idea and a reasonable solution. Let’s make it happen!

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  MiriamM
28 June 2021 9:24 pm

When the NDP won power in 1990 they appointed me to what was then called the North’d Housing Authority. There was even a liberal there. The reason for my appointment was to put a tenant on this, and all the other similar boards in Ontario. It lasted until Mike Harris was the new premier, and I was dumped, quickly and without honour. The new Chair, a loyal tory who valued my efforts, tried hard to bring me back to no avail. The same thing happened to a friend who was on the Police Services Board. She had been a municipal councillor up north in years past.

I just wish we could collectively set aside our partisanship and choose a variety of people who are both competent and diverse in their viewpoints. Wouldn’t that make a nice change? We might all learn something along the way.

Bryan
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
28 June 2021 10:06 pm

Deborah:

Excellent suggestions. The trick is finding competent people willing to work long hours (30hr+) for less than minimum wage.
So, Deborah, are you all hat and no cattle? Will you be running for council next year?