The federal and provincial governments have announced $3.5 million in funding for affordable housing complexes in Peterborough and Havelock
The joint funding will support the 34-unit complex on Bonaccord Street in Peterborough and the 24-unit on Smith Drive in Havelock, Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef and Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith announced Thursday during a virtual press conference.
The projects are funded by the federal/provincial Investment in Affordable Housing program and the Social Infrastructure Fund and both are operated by the Peterborough Housing Corp.
More than $2.5 million will fund the complex at 553 Bonaccord St. to serve individuals and single mothers. The complex, which includes a daycare space, opened in 2020 following renovations of the former Fleming College McRae campus. Ottawa provided $1.7 million for the project while Ontario provided $725,000 and the City of Peterborough contributed $634,371.
Thirty-three of the units will be affordable units with rent capped at 80 per cent of the market rate for 25 years.
Some of the residents are supported by Homeward Bound Peterborough, a program that provides independent affordable housing for single mothers along with services and supports to transition to independence including reserved childcare spaces at Compass Early Learning Centre, life skills, assistance in obtaining a post-secondary education, employment mentoring through an industry council and transition to independence.
Monsef says she’s thrilled for the women who will call the complex their new home and who will also contribute to the workforce.
“Women are the first to lose good, affordable housing and they’re the last to get it which is why the projects we are celebrating today are so incredibly important,” Monsef said. “They provide us a blueprint of what this community can do when we work together.”
Smith said the “critically” needed project will support families in Peterborough.
“The projects we are celebrating today are great examples of how governments are working together to support housing for those who need it in our communities,” he said.
Peterborough Coun. Keith Riel, the city’s co-chairperson of housing, says residents in the city and county need safe, stable housing that they can afford. He says the city is “grateful” for the governments’ support.
“The homes created by Peterborough Housing Corporation are a great example of what’s possible with support from all levels of government,” he said. “These new homes will help families to thrive and seniors to live and age in their own community.”
The facility is in Malcolm Court, named after Malcolm Hunt, the city’s former longtime director of planning, who was a strong advocate of the Homeward Bound program.
Another $1 million supports the 24 one-bedroom unit complex on 17 Smith Dr. in Havelock, east of Peterborough. Opened in January 2021, the complex provides affordable housing for seniors (age 59 and up) and serves as a community hub, with health services and supports on-site from the Victoria Order of Nurses (VON).
According to Peterborough Housing Corp., rent for an affordable housing unit is $765 plus utilities; a one-bedroom market rent unit is $900 plus utilities.
The Ontario government provided $861,260 while Ottawa contributed $138,740. Half of the units will be offered at market rent, and another dozen at 80 per cent of market rent (or approximately $680 per month).
Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township donated and serviced the land and contributed more than $450,000 for the project.
Township Mayor Jim Martin says he has heard rave reviews of the complex from new tenants. He thanked all parties involved and says the complex is a complement to the ongoing 128-bed long-term care project, ensuring residents won’t have to move away for future housing supports.
“This is great news and it’s exciting,” he said. “This is an example of what happens when we all work together. Even with all the challenges around the pandemic, they worked around it and we have a beautiful building, not only to residents but to community care.”
Smith says the community engagement on the project was impressive.
“It’s projects like these that will make a huge difference in the lives of people in our community,” he said.
Bonnie Clark, chairperson of PHC’s board of directors, says the corporation is proud to have built the projects during the pandemic. Both projects are “on time, and on budget” — a rarity, she noted. Both complexes are currently “fully tenanted and are a place residents are proud to call home.”
“The units in these buildings are spacious, beautiful and well-appointed with all of these amenities to live comfortably,” she said.
“The icing on the cake are the smiles on the faces when we show the tenants their new units first off,” she said. “We love the reactions.”
“They are fully tenanted and are a place our residents are proud to call home,” she said.
Monsef says noted there are additional housing projects to be announced in the riding, noting that since she becoming MP in 2015, more than $47.4 million in federal funding has created 1,694 housing units in the riding.
“We have at least five more projects in the hopper that we are working on with our partners,” Monsef said. “And there are many more to come, I hope.”