It seems that Council believes that affordable housing requires that the Town provide subsidies by way of grants, loans and waiving fees. The way to do this is to create a “Community Improvement Plan” directed at affordable housing. After a consultant’s study and public meetings, such a plan was approved in November 2020 (see Resources below). The process to implement it was then approved in June of 2021 and inputs were requested from developers to obtain the 2021 budget of $250,000. An ad hoc committee was created to review the applications and at the CoW on 6 September, 2022 one recipient was finally approved: Balder Corporation was awarded $248K in grants and loans. This was ratified at the Regular Council meeting on 12 September.
Balder’s project at the corner of University and William is for 71 rental units including 15 affordable units. Construction has already started and occupancy is expected late 2022. Their request was for $802,928.87 in grants under the various programs as well as $100,000 in loans under the accessible and sustainable programs. Staff reported that “there is already a 10-year deferral of the $547,263 Development Charges in the existing Agreements as well as a waiver of the approximate $110,600 in interest over 10 years”.
Council finally approved $147,913.87 in grants plus $100,000 in loans to Balder Corporation.
So who else applied and why did they not get approved?
Trinity Housing – 25 James St E
This project is for 27 new rental units to be added to the existing 20 units. 13 of the new units are to be affordable. But although Zoning and Official Plan policies are now in place, the Site Plan has not yet started as they have not yet formally applied. Further, there is already $111,360 committed for this project under previous year’s funding being $35,287 in each of 3 years which is 50% of the Development Charges and a 5-year deferral of the remaining 50% plus the Town guarantee on a $330,000 loan. There is also agreement to provide a 10-year tax increment grant of approximately $179,500. That is, they are not yet ready and already have a good amount.
Veenstra Construction Ltd – 867-879 William St
Planned are 15 new rental units of which 1 is proposed to be affordable. The project is in early design stage and is not zoning approved nor site plan approved. Premature.
Stallwood Homes – 448-458 Drewery Rd (Block 95)
Project is for 32 new stacked townhouse Condominium units in two buildings having 16 units each. Although not affordable, these units are proposed to be attainable through slightly smaller sizing to permit a 10% reduced purchase price. But what’s to stop someone buying then reselling at market price? And market prices currently going down complicates the plan. Not well thought out (my words).
Applications for 2022
Applications are now being accepted (to September 30) – the approved budget this time is $125,000. This compares to the budget of the County for affordable housing – $9.5M in 2022. The county is officially responsible for providing affordable housing.
Cobourg News Blog links
- Community Improvement Plan up for Final approval – includes overview of plan – 20 November 2020.
- Implementation plan (pdf) approved June 2021
Town of Cobourg web site page