Press Release: Largest single investment in affordable housing in Ottawa $167.9M

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OTTAWA, Ontario – Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why the Government of Canada is partnering with the City of Ottawa, and the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) to build hundreds of new affordable housing across 3 sites, comprising of a total of 4 buildings in Ottawa.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, along with Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, were accompanied by Mathieu Fleury, City Councillor and Chair of the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors and Stephane Giguere, the Chief Executive Officer of OCH  to announce a $167.9 million financial commitment in the form of a mortgage from the federal government, $10.8 million of which is a forgivable loan, for the construction of approximately 700 new units.

This is the largest single investment awarded to a social and affordable housing provider for the development of new affordable housing in Ottawa under the National Housing Strategy. With the help of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), OCH’s affordable housing developments will be built in Ottawa and are located in areas close to public transit, community centres, and support services. Of the proposed 698 units, a total of 211 units will be earmarked at affordable rents lower than 80% of median market rent for the neighborhood.

The new homes will support those of all ages, family compositions, and demographics, but 179 of the homes will be dedicated to priority groups such as seniors, women and children fleeing domestic violence, those facing mental health and addiction issues, and newcomers.

Providing safe and stable housing affords greater opportunities for residents to find and keep jobs, learn and build skills, and be active participants in their communities.

Quotes:

 “Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today’s announcement is the largest single investment in affordable housing in Ottawa, ever.  This shows how the National Housing Strategy is working in communities across Canada.” The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

“Through the National Housing Strategy, our government is investing in up to 698 units of affordable housing for residents of Ottawa seeking safe, affordable housing options that meet their needs. Hard working families in Ottawa deserve a safe and affordable place to call home where they can thrive and spend more time with their children. These developments are a result of great partnerships, coming together to respond to a grave housing need in our City. “

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“Affordable housing continues to be a priority for the City of Ottawa. Council recently approved the refreshed 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, which sets ambitious targets – including eliminating unsheltered, veteran and chronic homelessness, and creating up to 8,500 new affordable housing options by 2030. Let’s continue to work together, with our federal and provincial partners, to ensure that everyone in our city has a place that they can call home.”

– Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

“The 10-Year Development Strategy has strategically transformed OCH’s operations to ensure our readiness to build. Strengthening partnerships such as the ones with CMHC and the City of Ottawa will pave the way for a meaningful and significant transformation for affordable housing in our City.  With this strategic financing opportunity, OCH can now foster the construction of a minimum of 700 new affordable rentals over the next few years. We are encouraged by continued engagement to collaborate with the federal government and the City to achieve a common goal of providing suitable, sustainable and affordable rental housing to meet the evolving needs of the residents of Ottawa.”

– Mathieu Fleury, Chair of Ottawa Community Housing Board of Directors and Stéphane Giguère, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing

Quick facts:

  • The Government of Canada and OCH acknowledge that the buildings, located at 811 Gladstone, 818 Gladstone, and 933 Gladstone, are being built on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.
  • The City of Ottawa is allocating approximately $2.8 million in development charge and fees waivers toward this initiative, and $18.3 million through the Investment in Affordable Housing/Social Infrastructure Fund initiative for 811 Gladstone Road.
  • The City of Ottawa has also allocated $10 million in City Capital Funding for Gladstone Village and Rochester Heights Phase II in addition to relief from development charges and applicable other building fees
  • The portfolio investment aims to achieve over 55% reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions relative to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings.
  • The portfolio, on average, will comply with the highest level of accessibility i.e. barrier-free common areas and 31%+ of units meet accessibility standards or full universal design and 21%+ of units meet accessibility standards.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.
  • Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
  • Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Quick facts OCH developments funded by the NHCF

About the communities in construction or development:

  • The loans will help OCH build approximately 700 rentals in multi-use, transit-oriented and sustainable green-living communities
  • The new builds will meet the criteria of affordability, accessibility and sustainability set by the Federal Government.
  • Providing new affordable home rentals in a mixed-use community for years to come.
  • Building vibrant communities with strong community partnerships (leveraging transit, school, green space, private sector, commercial spaces…)
  • Nurturing safe, healthy and inclusive communities
  • Providing economic and educational opportunities to the community
  • Continuing to engage and consult community residents and stakeholders in conjunction with the City planning process

811 Gladstone Avenue (Rochester Heights Phase 1 – townhomes and mid-rise)

  • includes 140 affordable homes:
  • A mid-rise apartment building with 108 homes and 32 townhomes; including 36 homes for seniors.
  • This project will include Canada’s largest residential Passive House currently under construction, using the PHIUS+ (Passive House Institute of the United States) 2015 Passive Building Standard.
  • The Passive House building will be 85% more energy-efficient than conventional new builds.
  • Planned amenity space of 5,000 square feet.
  • Occupancy expected for Summer 2021.

818 Gladstone Avenue (Rochester Heights Phase 2 – mid-rise and high-rise)

  • A 4.2 acres land development site, ready to build for an all-inclusive community of :
      • mixed-use: a combination of residential, retail, and office uses
      • mixed-income: a combination of affordable and market residential, both rental and ownership
      • mixed-density: a combination of low-, mid-, and high-rise buildings
        • mixed-lifestyle: a home to families, children, couples, singles, seniors, and those with accessibility needs
    • upwards of 700 total residential units, at full build-out, including affordable rentals
    • Near LRT Station
    • Walking & cycling paths

933 Gladstone Avenue (Gladstone Village Phase 1 and 2 – townhomes, high-rise and mid-rise)

  • An 8-acres land development site, ready to build for an all-inclusive community of
      • mixed-use: a combination of residential, commercial, institutional, and retail
      • mixed-income: a combination of affordable and market residential, both rental and ownership
      • mixed-density: will be a combination of low-, mid-, and high-rise buildings
      • mixed-lifestyle: will be home to families, children, couples, singles, seniors, and those with accessibility needs
  • upwards of 1,100 total residential units, at full build-out
  • residential units ranging from studios, 1-beds, 2-beds, 3-beds and 4-beds
  • transit-oriented development, adjacent to the future Gladstone LRT station
  • generous green space
  • greatest density bordering the light rail tracks and the light rail station, promoting ridership
  • alongside the Plant Bath Recreation Centre to the north

Associated links:

  • As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of the Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCH houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCH is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio, and is the second-largest in Ontario. In 2020, OCH was selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers for the third year in a row.  For more information, please visit och-lco.ca or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
  • To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit placetocallhome.ca.

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Information on this release 

Jessica Eritou
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
jessica.eritou@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Audrey-Anne Coulombe
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Media Relations
613-748-2573
acoulomb@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Melany Chretien
Director, Corporate Communications
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
Media@och.ca
613-296-2651

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