The federal government is providing $14 million to help construct 46 additional residential units on Water Street in Peterborough, the area’s MP announced Friday.
According to Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, the funds will support Phase 2 of the project at 3789 Water St., just north of Trent University near Woodlawn Drive. She made the announcement on behalf of Ahmed Hussen, minister of Families, Children and Social Development and minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which supports rental housing construction projects.
The second phase of the development by Greenleaf/Cor-Plan is receiving financing through the Government of Canada’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program delivered by the CMHC.
The development includes a unique partnership with Kawartha Participation Projects, which provides services, supports and housing to people with physical disabilities living in Peterborough, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton and Northumberland counties.
Monsef noted 26 of the units (56.5 per cent) will have rents at or below 70 per cent of 30 per cent of the area’s median household income, which according to the 2016 Census, was $58,127. The majority of units (95.7 per cent) will have rents below 30 per cent of the area’s median household income. The rent levels for at least 21 units will be maintained for a minimum of 16 years.
Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien says the city has a “significant” need for more safe and accessible housing.
“I would like to thank MP Monsef for her work to push this project forward, as well as CMHC and Kawartha Participation Projects for their commitment to providing secure, energy-efficient units that meet the needs of our community,” said Therrien, adding partnerships are key to the project.
Katherine Blackwood, director of housing for Kawartha Participation Projects, says the partnership is evidence of the ability of all sectors to work toward a goal of appropriate quality housing.
“This project will not only provide suitable housing but will further Kawartha Participation Projects’ mission to increase the supply of accessible units and health care supports to people who would otherwise be housed in inappropriate housing or care facilities,” Blackwood said. “People will receive the health care supports they need to live safely in their own homes in their own community.”
Monsef says the program encourages a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families struggling in expensive housing markets.
“Housing is a major part of the solution to many of our community’s greatest challenges — mental health, addiction, inequity,” said Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equity and Minister of Rural Economic Development.
“Our government understands this and is committed to doing our part to ensure all Canadians have a safe place to call home. We need innovative partners and solutions to address the housing needs in our community and projects like this one do just that.”
At least 15 per cent of the units meet municipal accessibility requirements, along with laundry rooms in each suite in an “extremely sound-proof” building, says Sheldon Rokin, president of Greenleaf/Cor-Plan.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 with substantial completion by October 2022.
Rokin said the project will include a future plaza, along with a traffic signal intersection with a pedestrian walkway/bike paths leading to Nassau Mills Road accessing Trent University (pending agreements with the city).
“We’re going to create a very nice, comfortable place to live in a broader community with nearby services,” Rokin said during Thursday’s media conference. “We’re excited about proceeding with this project.”
The building is designed to achieve energy-efficiency savings of 17 per cent and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 21 per cent relative to the 2015 National Energy Code of Buildings.
“We have utilized the best available construction materials and assemblies to achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” Rokin said.
The government notes an RCFi loan of $7.6 million was provided for the construction of the first phase of 3789 Water St., which will comprise a four-storey building with 25 units.
Monsef says since 2015, the riding has received $45M in federal funding to build, renovate and subsidize 1,600 housing units in a number of projects, including the Water Street project. Four hundred of the units are newly constructed. She said more projects will be forthcoming.
“This community — aside from getting through COVID and the other side of vaccinations — there is no issue more important to Peterborough than that of building more housing. I look forward to working with anybody who is ready to build more housing the fastest.
“We need every single unit we can get as quickly as possible,” she added.