Wellington County says it is interested in buying property owned by the City of Guelph and using it for transitional housing for the homeless.
The building at 65 Delhi St. has been owned by the city since 1911 and is currently occupied by the Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services.
The service is moving to a new location later this year and city council has declared the property as a “surplus asset” to be sold
But in order for the county to purchase the property, it would need to be rezoned from parkland use to residential use, the city said.
“The final sale of this property to the county is conditional on rezoning,” said the city’s CAO Scott Stewart. “It would be great to see this property used to support those in our community who need it the most.”
The city said the county must apply for a zoning change and the process entails a public council meeting where questions and comments can be made by city councillors and the community.
If the rezoning application is not approved, the property will remain in the city’s hands and would not be sold to the county.
Even though Guelph is a separate municipality, Wellington County is responsible for providing social and affordable housing in the city.
The county launched the Loyola House supportive temporary accommodation pilot in October 2020. It offers those without housing a safe place to stay, onsite health care and case management to find permanent housing.
Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton said that pilot is scheduled to end this fall.
“By relocating to the 65 Delhi St. location in Guelph we’ll be able to provide units to people who really need support and a safe place to live,” he said.
“Building safe and suitable housing helps to strengthen the economy, build communities and support overall personal well-being.”