Federal government invests $13.2M to affordable housing project in London’s Old East Village

Embassy Commons affordable housing development at 740 Dundas St. London Ont., . Embassy Commons affordable housing development at 744 Dundas St.

The federal government has finalized $13.2 million in last-minute funding for a 72-unit affordable housing project set to be finished this summer in London, Ont.

The investment is going towards supporting the Embassy Commons affordable housing development at 740 Dundas St., which is being spearheaded by Indwell and partially funded by private donors. The site was formally known as 744 Dundas St., which the federal government has said since changed.

The federal housing minister, Ahmed Hussen,  along with local members of parliament and municipal leaders, made the $13.2 million announcement virtually Friday morning.

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, our government is delivering on its commitment to helping those who need it most in local communities,” Hussen said.

“This project will make a real difference in the lives of people in London. We will continue to do our part to create even more affordable housing that will benefit all Canadians for decades to come.”

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Read more: Indwell breaks ground on 72-unit affordable housing project in London

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While the announcement seems late in the game, Graham Cubitt from Indwell noted that they had been working with federal government for some time to secure funding.

Indwell first broke ground on the three-storey project in July 2020, with Cubitt noting they should be able to have people move in around the same time this summer.

Employees of Indwell break ground on Embassy Commons, a new affordable housing project in London alongside local politicians, July 29, 2020. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The total cost for the new development is estimated to be $22 million with $4 million coming from the city and $2 million coming from private donors..

“Indwell is proud to partner with the federal government to create new homes for Londoners seeking health, wellness and belonging. We are excited to begin welcoming tenants to our supportive community this summer,” said Indwell CEO Jeff Neven.

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This project will create a total of 72 residential units and will be operated by Indwell. The building will offer accessible common areas with community kitchens, and outdoor amenity spaces.

Each unit will be geared towards income with most residents on the Ontario Disability Support Program. A one bedroom unit is expected to cost under $600 and a two-bedroom unit half the average rental price in the City.

When they broke ground in 2020, Indwell also noted that building staff would work with tenants to help solve problems, develop healthy relationships and connect with community resources.

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The new units will also house three commercial rental spaces. The London Cycle Link will operate the Squeaky Wheel Bicycle Co-op, while the other units will house a local pharmacy and a new restaurant.

“Indwell’s Embassy Commons project is just the latest example of the federal municipal partnership putting Londoners into affordable homes,” said deputy mayor Josh Morgan.

This latest project puts the city close to its 2021 goal to create 3,000 affordable housing units in London over the span of five years.

To date, the federal government has invested $18.3 million to help create 105 affordable homes in the City of London through the Rapid Housing Initiative.

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“This investment through our National Housing Co-investment Fund is improving the quality of life for those who will call the Embassy Common their home and has made London a better place to live. This investment will help those who need it most find a safe and affordable place to call home,” said London west MP Arielle Kayabaga.

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