In the summer of 2022, applications were opened for Cobourg’s Community Improvement Plan which is intended to “help stimulate the provision of affordable and rental housing in the community”. The deadline for applications was 30 September 2022 with the announced budget being $125,000 although unused amounts are carried forward. At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on 21 February, 2023, the committee reviewing applications will provide their recommendations to Council. All six applicants are to be approved for a total of $108,627. Details of the awards (assuming recommendations are approved) are listed below. The committee also recommends that the same committee members work on the 2023 CIP which is anticipated to be approved in the 2023 budget. (List of Committee members below).
Goals of Affordable and Rental CIP
- 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.
Summary of Applications
Trinity Housing of Cobourg Phase 2 Inc. – 25 James Street East / 321 John Street
Note: Trinity Housing is a not-for-profit corporation founded by Cobourg’s Trinity Church.
This application relates to a proposal for a purpose-built rental apartment dwelling with 27 new units, 17 of which are meant to be affordable with 10 market rent units. There are currently 20 affordable units in the existing apartment dwelling on the property. Request was for $82,426 in grants under the various programs, and no loans but after analysis, only $67,427 was approved. Note that there was already $111,360 committed for this project under previous years’ Council funding decisions.
The next five are proposing small units so are expected to be affordable although applicants did not specifically say that.
Muhammad Kundan – 1016 Fraser Court
This project proposes the creation of one new dwelling unit in an existing single-detached dwelling, with approximately 600 square feet of living space added. Total cost is estimated at $65K. $10,000 approved.
Melanie Harness – 128 Gillet Court
This application relates to a proposal for one new dwelling unit in an existing single-detached dwelling, with 714 square feet of living space added. Total cost is estimated at $50K. $10,000 approved.
Ivan Elder – 592 Hayden Crescent
This project proposes the creation of one new dwelling unit in an existing single-detached dwelling, with approximately 600 square feet of living space added. Total cost is estimated at $20K – it’s believed that the owner intends to do the work. $10,000 approved.
Denise Liboiron – 108 James Street East
This project proposes the creation of one new dwelling unit in an existing single-detached dwelling, with approximately 1,050 square feet of living space added. Total cost is estimated at $35K to $65K. $10,000 approved.
Melanie Powley – 521 Wilson Crescent
This project proposes the creation of one new dwelling unit in an existing single-detached dwelling, with approximately 600 square feet of living space added. As one of the CIP Eligibility Requirements for the Renovation and Construction Grant / Loan Program is that the applicant is the sole and primary resident of the property, the applicant in this case in not eligible for this program. Melanie Powley does not reside at this property and rents it out. The Committee was therefore in agreement that Melanie should receive funding only through the Planning and Building Fee Reduction Program – that would provide an estimated $1200.
Total CIP grants for 2022 (awarded in 2023)
The total is therefore: $67,427 + 4 x $10,000 + $1200 = $108,627.
The recommendation to award these amounts will be in a motion which is expected to pass since the amount is less than the budgeted amount.
Note that this CIP is separate from the Downtown Improvement CIP – different purpose and separate budget.
- Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty,
- Former Chair of the Planning and Development Advisory Committee Don Wilcox,
- Northumberland Affordable Housing Committee Representative Missy MacLean,
- County of Northumberland Representative Rebecca Carmen,
- Director of Corporate Services (Ian Davey or designate),
- Director of Planning and Development (Anne Taylor Scott or designate).
Definition of Affordable rent
An “affordable” rental unit is defined in Northumberland County’s Affordable Housing Strategy as a rental unit for which the rent does not exceed 30% of gross annual household income for low and moderate households. A moderate-income household is one that falls into the lowest 60% of the income distribution for renter households for the regional market area.
Cobourg Blog Reports
- Community Improvement Plan Awards from 2021 Budget – 15 Sept 2022
- Citizen Budget requests part one – 17 January 2019 – first mention to Council of Trinity project
- Council Acts on Affordable Housing – 1 April 2019
There’s that silly “affordable” euphemism again: “…a purpose-built rental apartment dwelling with 27 new units, 17 of which are meant to be affordable...” the implication being that the other 10 units are not affordable. (They are, in fact, “market rent” units, as noted).
Please let’s stop being so coy and start referring to them as what they actually are: subsidized units.
Watched a program on derelict cities in the U.S. which had once been thriving. A professor of Economics stated keeping a town thriving involved offering good services to citizens to encourage people to want to live there. Safety was also a big issue – few police services.The mayor wants to cut transit, the police force and there are no places for general workers to live here that are affordable on the wages they would make hence with employers having trouble finding employees they are likely not to set up here or pull out. A real killer of towns and cities that were once excellent now full of the unemployed and falling down – many of the population fled leaving a population whose income was welfare. Something to think about as people protest against the building of new housing, public transit and the police force.
I have looked up the properties mentioned on House Sigma. It is not a perfect source for information as private sales are not listed.
1016 Fraser Court….sold 1998 for 134,900
128 Gillett …..sold in May 2022 for 675,000
What is interesting about this recent sale is that the description reads “has a wonderful in-law suite with kitchen and a 4piece bath”
So why is the owner receiving money if she just purchase a unit with an existing rental unit?
592 Hayden Cres. No information
108 James st. east
sold 2013 for 212,000
Listing brokerage was Century 21 All pro Realty
Gillett St. Needs clarification for sure.
Folks–flawed housing policy–of all government leadership(Libs/PCs) over the last 2 decades has got us here—nationally. Condos replaced apartments. Owners replaced renters. Non-resident international money parked itself here in these assets and many of the numbered company ‘landlords’ don’t care too much about local affordability calculations or rights of the tenant.More proof is easy to find and the recent struggle to make corrections thru ‘vacancy tax’ and foreign ownership restrictions is the too little, too late, result….If statistics aren’t of interest just acknowledge that we live in a province with more Real Estate Agents than Engineers and Nurses. Another symptom of our circumstance—
Locally, the Prov + Feds have made their own effort to show they are doing ‘something’ about it—they funded $18mm(and counting) towards the project on Elgin and D’Arcy which will add a grand total of 40(yes, only forty) ‘units’ of subsidized housing. Yet, there are over 1,000 citizens on the ‘wait list’. That’s quite a dramatic number in a town of 18,000+….As with a bed at the new Golden Plough Lodge a subsidized unit in the new Elgin project will be the local equivalent of a lottery win….
While on a normal day I might not agree to any municipal tax funds being directed to private projects—today— against the backdrop of those staggering stats I have to give credit for ANYONE who continues to invest here. Lets do it…
As far as Affordable Housing goes This town has more projects in Moth balls than
anyone could imagine , And more projects that have had multiple developers try to get them off the ground than any other town I know of . Look at the Property across from St Mary’s high School – at least 5 different developers and millions of $$$ lost The last buyer picked it up through Power of sale and at the time there was approx. $7.5 Mil. in debt on it The 2 owners prior to that also picked it up under a Power of sale around $1.2 Mil Then you have the Property on Elgin next to the YMCA only 4 Developers
have walked away there and the present owners have been trying for 5 yrs to build a 90 + unit apartment building and 30 low cost town homes Same goes for the property on White st Etc Etc there are dozens of These Dead projects Not Dormant as the Town Planning might call them .
Ask the Developers why nothing can get done you will get a completely different answer than what the Planning & Engineering Depts will tell you
Many great questions have been raised by the posters on this Blog whether they pertain to Affordable Market Rent or ensuring there is oversight to ensure the money is used to build further rental housing. Council should hold an information session to answer these queries. Anyone care to write the letter?
I wonder if the Town will be as effective in ‘policing affordable’ rent across these units as they are in dealing with property owners hell bent on demo-by-neglect? The sum total of the news from the last 3 blogs is very, very disappointing and frankly discouraging. There obviously is no appetite, or frankly competency, to deal with meat and potato issues AND keeping taxes low in this highly inflationary time. I know that our provincial governors haven’t done munis any favor but that doesn’t mean that our Town council needs to pile on the gross & unnecessary expenses onto the backs of this community.
As homeowners, we accept that it is our responsibility to pay for our home renovations.
I do not appreciate that the Town of Cobourg is forcing us to subsidize another homeowner’s renovations and business endeavours through our property taxes.
The choice therefore is pay through your income tax. Rental housing and private housing are desperately needed. How ridiculous in price the whole housing market has become due to lack of supply. As purpose built rental housing especially has not been built incentives are apparently required to developers to build it. Some seniors on this Blog have stated in recent posts they are having trouble making ends meet. One fact said they could not even afford a reduced rate YMCA membership nor seniors’ rate there.
An income suite would assist the homeowner who retired yesteryear comfortable and found the cost of living has escalated to the point where selling their home is a very real option or to a family purchasing at lower interest rates Mrs. Anonymous.
As I said before the standard of living is falling in Canada, for everyone whether they be homeowners, renters and anyone else. Shelter systems overcrowded, health care overburdened, car prices rising, insurance, groceries – less disposable income for everyone.
Dave, to get more rental built doesn’t necessarily require incentives. A good start would be the removal of all aspects of rent control, removal of restrictions on how a landlord can select their tenants and easy eviction of non-paying tenants. Today’s investor would have to be nuts to build rental with no reasonable expectation of profit.
You mentioned the standard of living is falling in Canada. As noted by Ms. Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Not talking about other people’s money Ken. But how a person lived once upon a time. Single Bread Earner to a family – mostly long a thing of the past. Ability to live comfortably on money for retirement set aside just a few short years ago – BMO says now you need 1.7 million, family vacations – vacation lodges in Kawartha Lakes with meals at reasonable rates of yesteryear gone – now you pay through the nose. Costs have done nothing but rise. The senior of the last few years will especially be having a problem with dealing of cuts to their disposable income. The one thing I really think though is watch who you vote for. For some years there has been no investment back in this country – just giveaways.
The removal of rent control just creates a more precarious situation for the renters. I don’t see that as a positive solution. There are so many horror stories out there that are well documented.
There is already zero rent control in Ontario for any unit built OR first occupied after 2018. These units are exempt from the annual fixed rent increases set the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
I know because my young daughter is renting a tiny newer condo in Toronto. Last year was a double digit rent increase.
Yes, Mike, rent control has come and gone through the years. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_control_in_Ontario#History for a summary of the numerous flip-flops. Should an investor today actually believe that new construction will remain exempt given the current furore over the high costs of renting?
Dave – The point Mrs Anonymous is making quite concisely is:
Are all recipients permanent dwellers in the house?
Will they rent the expanded space to someone in need financially?
Will the town have a legally veted contract signed by recipients with clearly stated conditions that commit them to rent the apartment for a defined period of time with financial penalties for non- conforming?
Will the town get their money back if the house is flipped within a prescribed period of time?
The situation seems riddled with potential costly litigation for the town
More situations like St Peters is the way to go for my money. What about service clubs taking on the challenge? If St Peters can do it, what about other organizations?
Silver hair, I assume that you are joking! I’ve heard no mention of anything enforceable regarding ensuring that the money will actually create additional affordable rental suites.
I agree. Maybe those owners who decided to renovate, think they may be helping and wish for a pat on the back. But seems to me that all they want is an increase in their property value, subsidized by all of us. They may be even able to “double down” if the renovations can be deducted from their income tax. Then in the years to come they are the only ones benefiting from the rent received. Maybe instead of a grant, a loan would be more in line, repayable in an appropriate time frame of say 5 years.
Couple of points Tucker.
“They may be even able to “double down” if the renovations can be deducted from their income tax.Then in the years to come they are the only ones benefiting from the rent received.”
If they are able to deduct renovation costs from their income tax, wouldn’t they have to declare any future rents received as (taxable) income?
“Maybe instead of a grant, a loan would be more in line, repayable in an appropriate time frame of say 5 years.”
We couldn’t even give away the full $125,000, never mind trying to get people to borrow it.
Frenchy, why wouldn’t they have to declare the rents, adjusted for expenses, as taxable income?
I know, it sounded to me like Tucker didn’t.
Rhetorical, that’s the word I’m looking for. It was a rhetorical question.
Rental income is taxable income, after the subsidized improvement & other expenses are deducted. So this might just put low income homeowners contemplating the addition of a second suite over the CRA’s income amount for additional benefits.
I know, it sounded to me like Tucker didn’t.
I’m all for affordable rental units but why is the town subsidizing Denise Leboirin who surely does not reside in the house on James st while another request was denied because that applicant was not a resident of the house. How closely was the resident requirement checked, I wonder.
Love to see the answer to this comment…Perhaps Nicole Beatty could put the answer here for all to read.
And will there be any follow up to see that the unit is actually rented out- or just expanded space for the owner’s or adult kids’ use? Or house flippers?
In checking Canada 411 a telephone number at that address is listed in her name Silver haired. I am curious as to why then you say that?
In addition it lends a home to the homeowner, many of whom purchased their home during their working years and now under reduced retirement income are struggling. Instead of selling the home having a rental unit enables them to stay in their home.
And potentially lose subsidies because their income would exceed CRA limits.
Silver Haired – GIS is the largest subsidy for the retired. If the retiree was single or widowed/widow and had 0 – 23, which would mean no CPP, no investment money they would lose $1026, married 0 – 47 – $618. Trillium Benefit is peanuts. If their income level was that low and with the senior exemptions they would still be better off. And that is calculated on the lowest of possible incomes. Max incomes not counting OAS are $20,832 and $27,552 respectively counting those 2 categories of GIS income designation. I presume you are comfortable and can afford living costs unlike many being forced to pay rents devouring their living expenses in all age categories which also affect economic well being in the locale – fewer dollars to spend to support business here. The rental income would replace GIS thereby saving you with fewer drawing tax dollars – perhaps that will make it more plateable for you.
Due to condos being the feature, Air Bnbs, population growth purpose built rental housing has not been built in many years to any degree which has created a very big shortage thus the exorbitant rents being asked. $2000 is the norm today for even a basement apartment. Governments of all levels need to encourage the building of units as it is in crisis. As far as Air BnBs go they are often a plague on a community, owner unoccupied and often party houses ursurping the rental market. Like many things such as infrastructure the money has not been spent on citizens’ needs. I again say government wages head and shoulders above private industry and allowing illegal immigration which has greatly swelled the rank of social services and costs is another factor. The shelter housing is is not available to the citizens of the country hence they in larger centres come a cold winter nights they sleep on the street or in tents. Along with the lack of mental hospitals there is no where to house them. Again not being built.
Seems like a lot of the responders here get their morning exercise by growling about what ever topic Mr Draper writes about. Before I got to the responders, and I was filling up on Mr. Draper’s writing I was thinking what a wonderful idea this all was.
About 30 new affordable units will be added to the Cobourg housing market in 1 year ! If that happens every year and the numbers possibly grow then perhaps in 10 years or so there may NOT be a huge housing problem! Wow!!!
I also wondered if some kind of mortgage assistance is available to help out low income people?
I spent many years working with mentally and physically challenged adults and young people. Many of them have the same dreams and ambitions to achieve in our society, just like the rest of us. But unfortunately many do not have the abilities to achieve those goals. Birth defects/disorders, a poor home life or just bad luck has brought many of them serious problems. We should all do a better job of appreciating just how lucky we are! A society that can set up a system for EVERYONE to get ahead would be a great place for ALL of us to live in.
Its a great Idea Doug but un controled with No Guarantee that the units in private homes will exist 12 months after their creation or will they become some sort of Air-B&Bs or simply inlaw suites they are needed as well But we simply can not be handing out Other People
( Tax Payers ) money Loans may be—- but that’s what Banks & friends are for .
Be careful Doug. 27 of the new units are in one location. This has been in the planning stages for years (10 or more I think). Maybe this grant will help get it built, we will have to see.
Doug- it’s apples & oranges when you’re comparing St Peters to real estate peeps
The mention of helping the less fortunate will always garner “thumbs down ” activity on this blog. Too many miserables in this town. I for one, love your positive thoughts Doug.
Could you please explain that definition of Affordable as defined by Northumberland County
It seems to be Wide open for interpretation Are their annual numbers $ for these so called annual incomes county wide average . or is it that of the Home owner in which the apartment will be created .
Who sees the owners Tax filing and T4- 5s etc say over a 3 yr period Should we not have a rent Cap or a maximum confirmed $$ rental amount pre determined in a
$$ dollar amount of rent fixed for a period of time
In other words a person making $100 K per yr can charge $30,000.– for an apartment .
How long must it remain as apartment in the market place after creation 10 yrs ?
Why is this simply not a renovation loan to a personal resident .
The formula, 30% of renter’s gross annual household income, is how the County assesses the rent a person pays for one of its RGI (rent geared to income) units. CMHC uses the same formula as a target or benchmark but sets its “affordable” units (Balder for example) at 80% of the Cobourg “average market” rent (CMHC survey of occupied rental units). From Oct 2021, the CMHC median market rents for Cobourg are: 1BR $1,082, 2BR $1,345, 3BR $1,512 There is no indication as to whether utilities included or not.
CMHC did a partial survey in Oct 2022 and shows data for 1BR only ($1,033)
The rent for the 14 or so Balder units are supposed to be determined in this manner and CMHC can enforce this because it is one of the terms for getting the mortgage concessions from CMHC.
There is no indication that the Town has any “rent enforcement” requirements in its CIP grant/loan contracts
The property owners income is not a factor in any of this..
And who pays the rest . ???? Taxes for which Bolder gets a huge break on both Property Taxes and Mortgage interest rates as well
and why aren’t those units occupied by now ??
Sandpiper, I think you meant Balder, the builder of the building on University West. Some of the apartments are occupied. Not sure how many.
On Affordable Market Rent Bryan I was advised it is 80% of the advertised listings – that is why it is called Market. Under the former Municipality of Toronto they had a Housing Division, now dissolved after the supposed Amalgamation. They managed rental units under City Home advertised as Affordable Market Rent. The rents were about 80% of Current rental listings but also well kept and better than what you could get on the private rental market.
At that time there was a ceiling on income to occupy. It was some years ago, $40,000 was the top limit in the 80s and an aside Jack Layton and Olivia Chow were found to be occupying one of the apartments – they were rightly given the boot.
As you note, the Toronto housing Division may have defined it that way. CMHC does not. CMHC defines rent as follows:
The rent refers to the actual amount tenants pay for their unit. No adjustments are made for the inclusion or exclusion of amenities and services such as heat, hydro, parking or hot water.
The average rents reported in this publication (CMHC) provide a sound indication of the amounts paid by unit size and geographical sector. Utilities such as heating, electricity and hot water may or may not be included in the rent.
CMHC’s reported average market rent in Cobourg at Oct 2022 for a 1BR unit was $1,033. I seriously doubt that you could find a 1BR unit for rent at that price.
Yes, utilities are not part of the picture but it is Market value Bryan based on what the current market is asking.
The definition of Affordable Market Rent basis is dubious under CMHC – defined as 80% of average market rent of the jurisdiction which implies what is currently advertised and is the rate asked of all Affordable Market rent apartments advertised that I have seen Bryan.
Dave, to the best of my knowledge Bryan has it right. The phrase ‘market rent’ is confusing things. CMHC uses actual rents being paid regardless of how long tenants have lived in the apartments. I know of one tenant in an apartment for 40 years. Her rent is included in the CMHC calculation.
In that case why are all the Affordable Market Rents above and beyond. Munroe Street – last advertised at $1350 – Affordable Market Rent – probably more now. $1595 for a studio at Bader – supposed to be Affordable Market Rent. Looks like rent based more on current values advertised not the formula described under CMHC but 80% of currently advertised units.
Some of the Studio apartments were supposed to be the Affordable Market Rent offering – never seen a price advertised for them below $1595.
There is no chance one can find a 1 bedroom rental unit within Cobourg’s town limits for $1,033. I would be surprised if a 1 bedroom until is available today for less than $1,500 plus some percentage of utilities. The new residential building on University Ave. East has very small 1 bedroom units available for approx. $1,800 plus heat/parking/wifi/etc…
Exactly my point. Thanks for the confirmation.
Just a note on the CMHC “market rent” they do not take into consideration if utilities/parking are included or not. They are only interested in the amount paid.
Just my limited experience helping my two children look for small local apartments this past year….
Does MPAC come to assess owner taxes after construction is complete?
In theory, yes. In practice, maybe
I am understanding this correctly town council is giving money to residents who add a rental unit to their building that they will then rent out?
I’m a little incredulous here, there is no guarantee that the units town council is giving taxpayers’ money to will actually be affordable? WHO monitors that the future rent charged will be as per the definition of affordable rent above?
See my comment above to Sandpiper
Who will check if it’s ever rented out- and not just a home. Improvement. I’m also concerned about the applicants’ genuine need for subsidization looking at the names who qualified
There is no financial need factor – just willingness to add to the housing stock
So an investor gets free money to make more money
Are any “Zoning” bylaws being adjusted/broken to allow “rental units” in a residential house.
Cornbread, isn’t allowing destruction of family home neighbourhoods by increasing density part of Bill 23? I don’t understand why everyone focuses on other aspects of the legislation and ignores the important changes.
Just remember the “Blockbusting” that took place in the 60’s.
“Blockbusting”? Please elaborate, cornbread.
Downgrade a neighbourhood so that house sale prices are reduced
The County or Town? enlarged the zoning area to allow homeowners to add a rental suite some time ago recognizing the very large need for rental housing Cornbread.