Ottawa council to vote on affordable housing spending plan

rochester heights ottawa
Rochester Heights rendering

 Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa’s planning committee is recommending spending more than $33.7 million – in part to create new affordable housing through partnerships with housing providers, and in part to stabilize existing projects currently under construction.

Council will vote on the committee’s recommendations on June 22.

Spending will relieve pressure on projects already underway that are facing spiking construction costs including:

  • $10 million to Ottawa Community Housing Corporation to support Phase 2 of Rochester Heights, with construction starting this year on 270 affordable units at 818 Gladstone Avenue.
  • $7.2 million to Nepean Housing Corporation to build a three-storey apartment building with 31 affordable units at Dunbar Court, starting in late 2022 or early 2023.
  • Up to $2 million to be allocated through a pilot program for private sector developers to deliver affordable rental units in conjunction with National Housing Strategy programs.
  • Up to $1.2 million to be allocated to Ontario Renovates for capital repairs and accessibility modifications, with expanded eligibility requirements to consider applications from both Community Housing providers and not-for-profit landlords, in addition to seniors and persons with disabilities.
  • $13.3 million from the housing reserve as a contingency fund for housing projects underway that are at risk due to rising costs, or to help non-profit housing providers purchase properties to establish affordable rental housing.

The planned allocation from the 2022 capital budget will help fund about 300 new, permanent affordable housing units.

The committee also approved Official Plan and zoning amendments and a heritage permit to facilitate redevelopment at the southwest corner of Richmond Road and Island Park Drive where the applicant proposes to relocate an historic service station on this property – the single-storey Champlain Oil Company Service Station. That building would be rehabilitated and integrated with the ground-floor retail portion of a new, nine-storey apartment building. It would step down from nine to two storeys on the south side to ensure appropriate transitions to existing low-rise homes.

The amendment would require the applicant to invest nearly $750,000 to improve the intersection at Island Park Drive and Richmond Road. They would also invest nearly $195,000 toward Kitchissippi Ward’s affordable housing fund.

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