Contractors in Peterborough are uniting to remodel two city-owned properties in an effort to help address homelessness in the city.
A dozen contractors — members of the Peterborough and District Construction Association — are volunteering their time and labour for Housing First, a plan to remodel houses at 953 Clonsilla Ave. and 808 Sherbrooke St. into multi-unit affordable housing properties.
The city is backing the project with $300,000. The two properties are located along a section of The Parkway, a proposed north-south corridor that has been suggested since the 1940s, and would have been demolished had the city voted in favour of expanding the route.
However, Coun. Keith Riel says affordable housing became a top priority for council after putting The Parkway on hold. Homelessness came in the spotlight last summer when a shelter closed and some tenants began camping on municipal and county parks and churches.
“As a result, homelessness came to the forefront. People are looking for housing. We have a housing crunch,” Riel said. “So we said, ‘Let’s get these buildings up and repurpose them.'”
Mortlock Construction will be overseeing renovations at both houses, with four local electrical contractors — Barry Electric, CPD Electric, Lancer Electric and SRP Electric — partnering to donate their labour for the projects.
The city said Boss Roofing employees are donating their time, while Gibson Building Supplies donating materials to put a roof on the Sherbrooke Street house, which will be remodelled into three units.
The Clonsilla property is being redesigned into two two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit with shared laundry facilities.
Craig Mortlock of Mortlock Construction estimates the entire project will cost more than $500,000.
“In that, you’re seeing the need for the goodness of the contracting community to come forward to make up that gap and make that happen on a very restrictive budget,” he said.
Tenants for the homes will be selected from the city’s housing wait-list.
Businesses and tradespeople supporting the project include:
- Barry Electric
- Boss Roofing
- City Electrical Supply
- CPD Electric
- Gibson Building Supplies
- Lancer Electric
- Lett Architects
- Mortlock Construction
- Oscan Electrical Supply
- SRP Electric
- Neil Johnson Heating
- Peterborough and District Construction Association
The renovations are expected to be completed by May. Any business or skilled tradesperson interested in donating work or materials to the project can contact Andrew Mitchell by phone at 705-742-7777, ext. 1802, or via email.
– With files from Jessica Nyznik/Global News Peterborough