The City of Cornwall has been granted $1,888,455 through the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) to build a new affordable housing apartment building.
These funds will assist with the construction of 33 new units at the new Social Housing Complex, located on the vacant lot at the corner of Ninth Street and McConnell Avenue. This site was identified as a priority location in the recent Housing Revitalization Plan.
While initial plans included two buildings on the site, the City will proceed with the construction of one building due to funding limitations.
The first building will consist of five stories with 33 single units (15% of which will be fully accessible), as well as commercial space (approximately 4,100 sq. ft.). Once complete, this new housing project will be under the ongoing administration and portfolio of Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation (CAHC). CAHC will also be moving its offices to the commercial space located on the main floor of the new building.
“The City of Cornwall will be providing a significant contribution to this capital project, both financially and administratively,” said Mellissa Morgan, Manager of Social and Housing Services. “Expanding our housing portfolio is the first step to meeting the high demand for both affordable and market units.”
Colliers noted in the recently completed Housing Revitalization Plan that public housing has historically catered to those in dire need. This was addressed primarily through “rent-geared-to-income” housing, where the tenant pays only what they can afford based on their verified income from the previous tax year.
“This puts a significant pressure on the housing service provider and makes them fully dependent on government funding to cover operational expenses. This needs to change, and it could come from broadening the definition of affordable housing,” stated the Colliers report. “It should be broader than just achieving affordability, the objective should be to create healthy sustainable communities.”
It is anticipated that the affordable units will be available to rent as early as December 2021, with full construction estimated to be complete by June 2022.
More information about Social and Housing Services
The Social and Housing Services Department delivers programs and services to residents in Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. Programs include rent-geared-to-income, homelessness prevention, domiciliary program, and Ontario Renovates.
More information about the Social Services Relief Fund
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing and homelessness sectors in Ontario have had to alter the ways in which they provide services to vulnerable populations. The Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) Phase 2 is providing $362 million in provincial and federal funding to help create longer-term housing solutions for people in need, and to ensure that the housing and homelessness sector has the tools and support to safely and successfully transition to recovery.