Four proposed affordable housing developments set to receive funding

News May 01, 2017 by Samantha Beattie Kitchener Post

Waterloo Region will likely see four new affordable housing projects break ground within the next couple of years.

The developments proposed for Elmira, Waterloo, Cambridge and Kitchener will add 100 affordable housing units. The region will contribute $11.7 million through provincial and federal grants, said a staff report presented to the region’s community services committee April 25.

“I was truly quite thrilled,” said Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky upon seeing the report. “This will make a huge difference within the City of Waterloo and put a dent in the long-running affordable housing issue we have in Canada.”

The region will also give KW Habilitation $210,000 in additional funding so it can build a 22-unit apartment in Kitchener, first envisioned in 2012.

The majority of units are one-bedroom, but that was intentional, said Deb Schlicter, housing services director.

“We’ve really been pushing one-bedroom units for a couple of years, primarily because of the wait list,” she said.

Individuals and couples who are not seniors wait at least six years for a one-bedroom unit.

“That non-senior group is our biggest concern,” Schlicter said.

Seniors wait for senior-geared units, usually one-bedrooms, for at least two years and families wait at least three years.

And with an aging population, one-bedroom units can be switched to senior units if and when the demand emerges.

“They’re more flexible for the future,” said Schlicter.

The region’s funding is available for, at the most, two years, meaning the four projects must be done on “a very tight timeline.”

The region is expecting more funding to be available through the recently announced federal and provincial budgets.

“It looks like we’re going to get something, but we don’t know the details yet,” Schlicter said.

The 2016 federal budget committed $2.2 billion over 11 years to affordable housing across Canada. In 2017, the government proposed an additional $11.2 billion over the same time frame.

In its 2017 budget announced last week, the province said it will support the construction of up to 1,500 new affordable housing units in the long-term, provide $200 million for up to 6,000 households to improve access to housing assistance over three years, and provide $45 million to create up to 1,150 affordable housing units for those with mental illnesses or addictions.

“We’re hopeful this funding that’s coming from federal and provincial governments will give us a longer term view of what we’ll be receiving,” Schlicter said. “That way we can have more regular requests for proposals, say every two years, and groups can plan way ahead. It would really help with our planning and capacity building.”

The region put out its 2017 request in February and received six proposals from the nonprofit sector and four from the private sector. The four to receive funding were recommended because they were the furthest along in the planning process and met the region’s criteria.

195 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge: Home Concept Property Management, a sister company to Housing Cambridge, is proposing 36 affordable one-bedroom units as part of a larger development. It requires an official plan amendment and zoning change. Region funding: $4 million.

185-186 Erb St. E., Waterloo: Maxwell Building Consultants, a private company, is proposing a three-storey apartment with 24 one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. Developers need a minor variance to be approved before proceeding. Region funding: $4.4 million.

McGuire Lane, Elmira: Elmira Development Services Corporation is proposing help funding up to five of 13 units in two buildings geared to people with developmental disabilities. Region funding: $750,000.

Kitchener: Spavest Inc., also a private company, is proposing to redevelop an existing building and convert the existing 22 two-bedroom units into 50 one-bedroom units. Region funding: $3.5 million.

108 Sydney St. S., Kitchener: KW Habilitation is requesting additional funds to cover an increase in planning costs since it began a 22-unit affordable housing development in 2012. Region funding: $210,000.


Four proposed affordable housing developments set to receive funding

News May 01, 2017 by Samantha Beattie Kitchener Post

Waterloo Region will likely see four new affordable housing projects break ground within the next couple of years.

The developments proposed for Elmira, Waterloo, Cambridge and Kitchener will add 100 affordable housing units. The region will contribute $11.7 million through provincial and federal grants, said a staff report presented to the region’s community services committee April 25.

“I was truly quite thrilled,” said Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky upon seeing the report. “This will make a huge difference within the City of Waterloo and put a dent in the long-running affordable housing issue we have in Canada.”

The region will also give KW Habilitation $210,000 in additional funding so it can build a 22-unit apartment in Kitchener, first envisioned in 2012.

“We’re hopeful this funding that’s coming from federal and provincial governments will give us a longer term view of what we’ll be receiving." — Deb Schlicter, housing services director

The majority of units are one-bedroom, but that was intentional, said Deb Schlicter, housing services director.

“We’ve really been pushing one-bedroom units for a couple of years, primarily because of the wait list,” she said.

Individuals and couples who are not seniors wait at least six years for a one-bedroom unit.

“That non-senior group is our biggest concern,” Schlicter said.

Seniors wait for senior-geared units, usually one-bedrooms, for at least two years and families wait at least three years.

And with an aging population, one-bedroom units can be switched to senior units if and when the demand emerges.

“They’re more flexible for the future,” said Schlicter.

The region’s funding is available for, at the most, two years, meaning the four projects must be done on “a very tight timeline.”

The region is expecting more funding to be available through the recently announced federal and provincial budgets.

“It looks like we’re going to get something, but we don’t know the details yet,” Schlicter said.

The 2016 federal budget committed $2.2 billion over 11 years to affordable housing across Canada. In 2017, the government proposed an additional $11.2 billion over the same time frame.

In its 2017 budget announced last week, the province said it will support the construction of up to 1,500 new affordable housing units in the long-term, provide $200 million for up to 6,000 households to improve access to housing assistance over three years, and provide $45 million to create up to 1,150 affordable housing units for those with mental illnesses or addictions.

“We’re hopeful this funding that’s coming from federal and provincial governments will give us a longer term view of what we’ll be receiving,” Schlicter said. “That way we can have more regular requests for proposals, say every two years, and groups can plan way ahead. It would really help with our planning and capacity building.”

The region put out its 2017 request in February and received six proposals from the nonprofit sector and four from the private sector. The four to receive funding were recommended because they were the furthest along in the planning process and met the region’s criteria.

195 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge: Home Concept Property Management, a sister company to Housing Cambridge, is proposing 36 affordable one-bedroom units as part of a larger development. It requires an official plan amendment and zoning change. Region funding: $4 million.

185-186 Erb St. E., Waterloo: Maxwell Building Consultants, a private company, is proposing a three-storey apartment with 24 one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. Developers need a minor variance to be approved before proceeding. Region funding: $4.4 million.

McGuire Lane, Elmira: Elmira Development Services Corporation is proposing help funding up to five of 13 units in two buildings geared to people with developmental disabilities. Region funding: $750,000.

Kitchener: Spavest Inc., also a private company, is proposing to redevelop an existing building and convert the existing 22 two-bedroom units into 50 one-bedroom units. Region funding: $3.5 million.

108 Sydney St. S., Kitchener: KW Habilitation is requesting additional funds to cover an increase in planning costs since it began a 22-unit affordable housing development in 2012. Region funding: $210,000.


Four proposed affordable housing developments set to receive funding

News May 01, 2017 by Samantha Beattie Kitchener Post

Waterloo Region will likely see four new affordable housing projects break ground within the next couple of years.

The developments proposed for Elmira, Waterloo, Cambridge and Kitchener will add 100 affordable housing units. The region will contribute $11.7 million through provincial and federal grants, said a staff report presented to the region’s community services committee April 25.

“I was truly quite thrilled,” said Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky upon seeing the report. “This will make a huge difference within the City of Waterloo and put a dent in the long-running affordable housing issue we have in Canada.”

The region will also give KW Habilitation $210,000 in additional funding so it can build a 22-unit apartment in Kitchener, first envisioned in 2012.

“We’re hopeful this funding that’s coming from federal and provincial governments will give us a longer term view of what we’ll be receiving." — Deb Schlicter, housing services director

The majority of units are one-bedroom, but that was intentional, said Deb Schlicter, housing services director.

“We’ve really been pushing one-bedroom units for a couple of years, primarily because of the wait list,” she said.

Individuals and couples who are not seniors wait at least six years for a one-bedroom unit.

“That non-senior group is our biggest concern,” Schlicter said.

Seniors wait for senior-geared units, usually one-bedrooms, for at least two years and families wait at least three years.

And with an aging population, one-bedroom units can be switched to senior units if and when the demand emerges.

“They’re more flexible for the future,” said Schlicter.

The region’s funding is available for, at the most, two years, meaning the four projects must be done on “a very tight timeline.”

The region is expecting more funding to be available through the recently announced federal and provincial budgets.

“It looks like we’re going to get something, but we don’t know the details yet,” Schlicter said.

The 2016 federal budget committed $2.2 billion over 11 years to affordable housing across Canada. In 2017, the government proposed an additional $11.2 billion over the same time frame.

In its 2017 budget announced last week, the province said it will support the construction of up to 1,500 new affordable housing units in the long-term, provide $200 million for up to 6,000 households to improve access to housing assistance over three years, and provide $45 million to create up to 1,150 affordable housing units for those with mental illnesses or addictions.

“We’re hopeful this funding that’s coming from federal and provincial governments will give us a longer term view of what we’ll be receiving,” Schlicter said. “That way we can have more regular requests for proposals, say every two years, and groups can plan way ahead. It would really help with our planning and capacity building.”

The region put out its 2017 request in February and received six proposals from the nonprofit sector and four from the private sector. The four to receive funding were recommended because they were the furthest along in the planning process and met the region’s criteria.

195 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge: Home Concept Property Management, a sister company to Housing Cambridge, is proposing 36 affordable one-bedroom units as part of a larger development. It requires an official plan amendment and zoning change. Region funding: $4 million.

185-186 Erb St. E., Waterloo: Maxwell Building Consultants, a private company, is proposing a three-storey apartment with 24 one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. Developers need a minor variance to be approved before proceeding. Region funding: $4.4 million.

McGuire Lane, Elmira: Elmira Development Services Corporation is proposing help funding up to five of 13 units in two buildings geared to people with developmental disabilities. Region funding: $750,000.

Kitchener: Spavest Inc., also a private company, is proposing to redevelop an existing building and convert the existing 22 two-bedroom units into 50 one-bedroom units. Region funding: $3.5 million.

108 Sydney St. S., Kitchener: KW Habilitation is requesting additional funds to cover an increase in planning costs since it began a 22-unit affordable housing development in 2012. Region funding: $210,000.