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$7.6M in federal funds building 25 rental units for Peterborough families: MP Monsef

Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on-site at 3789 Water Street in Peterborough where 25 residential units are being constructed with the help of $7.6 million from the Government of Canada. Office of Maryam Monsef

The federal government is providing $7.6 million in a low-cost loan to help build 25 residential units for families in Peterborough.

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef made the announcement on Tuesday, noting the units will be built at 3789 Water St. She made the announcement on behalf of Ahmed Hussen, minister of Families, Children and Social Development and minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Low-cost loans are available to borrowers who want to build purpose-built rental housing in response to demonstrated community need, Monsef noted.

Monsef said the development includes a unique partnership with Kawartha Participation Projects, which will provide management of the building. KPP provides housing services and supports to people with physical disabilities living in Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton and Northumberland.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity Peterborough begins construction on affordable housing condo building

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Five units in the development have been earmarked for KPP clients and will be designed to meet the accessibility needs of tenants.

“The need for housing in our community was great before COVID, it’s only increased since,” stated Monsef. “We need innovative partners and solutions to address the housing needs in our community and projects like this one do just that. This partnership with KPP represents the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to investing in both accessible and affordable housing here in Peterborough-Kawartha.”

The development by Greenleaf/Cor-Plan is receiving financing through the National Housing Strategy’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), being delivered by the CMHC. The RCFi — through low-cost loans — supports the creation of new rental housing projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class households struggling in expensive housing markets.

Mayor Diane Therrien says the city has a great need for “all types of housing.” The city’s rental vacancy rate in 2019 was 2.1 per cent, according to CMHC’s annual rental market report

“Solving our housing challenges requires innovative solutions and cooperation from all levels of government, as well as private partners,” she said.

“The funding through CMHC will add 25 residential units to our housing stock and will increase density in the north end of our city.”

The initial phase of a multi-phase development will provide two studio units, two one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units and seven three-bedroom units in a four-storey building

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“This collaboration to provide rental housing units to the Peterborough region is an important step in addressing our community’s housing needs,” said Peterborough County warden J. Murray Jones. “The county provides financial support through the city, as the service manager for housing on behalf of the city and county, and we are excited to be a part of this project that leverages support from many partners and expands housing availability and supports in our region.”

Construction began in late 2019, and substantial completion is expected next summer, said Sheldon Rokin, president of Greenleaf/Cor-Plan.

Read more: MP Monsef working with stakeholders to build 2,000 affordable housing units in Peterborough

“It was an easy decision to work with KPP to tenant the fully accessible suites with tenants who actually need them,” said Rokin. “We will achieve the mandated reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with an insulated concrete and steel building. This type of construction offers further advantages of being highly fireproof and soundproof.”

Patrick Cooper, CEO of KPP, says partnerships are key to providing “safe, affordable and adequate housing” to the community’s most vulnerable. He said the support from all parties has been “enormous.”

“Our partnership with Greenleaf will allow Kawartha Participation Projects to provide affordable and accessible housing with health care supports to our clients who would otherwise be homeless or in long term care,” he said.

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In 2019 the federal government increased the amount of low-cost loans through the RCFi from $13.75. The government says the RCFi will encourage the construction of 42,500 new rental housing units across Canad

Last year, the Government of Canada invested more than $8 million combined through the National Housing Strategy in the Brock Mission and Habitat for Humanity Peterborough to build 56 affordable housing units and create 30 shelter beds in Peterborough.