Ottawa Community Housing to redevelop Rochester Heights and build new affordable housing with eco features

May 4, 2018 – Ottawa Community Housing is nearly ready to break ground on an exciting new build to take place in the middle of Centretown.

The planned build removes 26 townhomes from the Rochester Heights community, about an acre north of Gladstone Avenue and will put in their place a denser, multi-storey, mixed-use building with approximately 148 homes.

The building will create capacity for affordable housing, with a mix of dwelling sizes and public amenity space, both in the building and on the land. The $34-million project wouldn’t be possible without funding from the provincial Investment in Affordable Housing Program.

The building will also be OCHC’s first-ever attempt at a net-zero designation. The designation is the gold standard of sustainable design. It means the building produces as much electricity as it consumes. One of the ways OCHC plans to accomplish this is to install a bank of solar panels. It will rival our largest solar panel array yet, at our Regina Lane townhomes, which produce enough electricity annually to power 12 homes.

All of OCHC builds practice waste diversion. As the 26 homes were being vacated in Rochester Heights, five kitchens were salvaged to use as materials for renovations in other communities. One of those neighbourhoods was the Community House in Caldwell. Any metal salvaged will be sold, and the proceeds will be donated to the OCH Foundation.

The Investment in Affordable Housing program was extended in 2014 with the goal of providing more than $800 million in federal and provincial funding to improve access to affordable housing over six years. The program will end in March 2020. In Ottawa, since its inception, the program has provided funding to a total of 16 projects.


Thanks to the joint $11 million investment by Canada, Ontario and City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) will break ground on the first phase of the Rochester Heights redevelopment. I am thrilled this fund will allow OCH to take this important step in building modern, green affordable homes in our community. This continues Ontario’s plan to provide safe and affordable housing to create a strong foundation for better education, health and employment opportunities for all members of the community. –  Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre

The City of Ottawa is committed to providing access to safe and affordable housing to all its residents. The Rochester Heights Redevelopment will help vulnerable residents in Centretown West find a stable place they can call home. By working collaboratively with the provincial and federal governments and with our service providers, Ottawa is increasing its affordable and supportive housing stock and investing in important programs and initiatives that will help us continue to expand and build on the City’s Ten-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. – Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

Ottawa Community Housing is an innovative landlord that has found creative and modern ways to deal with the changing needs for affordable housing. This build is an example of innovation in the development of affordable housing. We are bringing forward smart growth by increasing the number of units for residents in the neighbourhood where a mix of services and employment are available. – Councillor Mathieu Fleury, chair of OCHC board of directors

Ottawa Community Housing has proven we can be industry leaders when it comes to community renewal. We want to build for the future, both with development that increases capacity, and in a way that protects our environment for future generations.  – Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer for OCHC

About OCH

Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides approximately 15,000 homes to over 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. OCHC 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. OCHC celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2017.

Quick facts:

  • A multi-phase development – all 26 tenants living in Phase one have been rehoused – the last tenant to move out in July.
  • Made possible through $11 million in funds from the Investment in Affordable Housing Program.
  • Expected $34 million project
  • All materials in good condition will be recycled. Staff will recycle five kitchens that will be used in other buildings if needed, one going to Caldwell Community House. All metal recycled and the sale will be given to OCH Foundation.
  • First attempt to net zero OCHC build, which is the gold standard of sustainable design. Will be accomplished in part with a large solar array. The biggest one OCHC currently has currently generated enough electricity annually to power 12 homes.
  • Playground was removed and will be reinstalled in another OCHC community.

For additional information please contact:

Jennifer McIntosh – Communications and Marketing Specialist – OCH – Cell: 914-9953 | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

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