Cornwall to Break Ground on New Affordable Housing

November 12, 2020
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – The City of Cornwall has been granted $1,888,455 through the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) to build new affordable housing for local residents.

Cornwall Affordable Housing

The project calls for two buildings to be built in phases at the southwest corner of the Ninth Street and McConnell Avenue, creating over 65 residential units. The current concept is to build structures similar to the apartments erected at 222 Sixth Street, creating a healthy sustainable building with more affordability options for renters.

Phase 1

The construction of the first building would occur early in 2021 with a completion date by June 2022. The result will be a 5-storey building with 33 single units, including accessible units.

  • 13 units at near market rent
  • 10 units at 80% of alternate average market rent
  • 10 units at rent-geared-to-income (RGI)

Commercial space on the main floor would become the new offices of the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation.  It is estimated that this space will be available for occupancy by June 2022. Some of the affordable units may be available for occupancy as early as December 2021.

Phase 2

The construction of the second build would be a 4-storey building with 32 single units, including accessible units.

  • 11 units at near market rent
  • 13 units at 80% of alternate average market rent
  • 8 units at rent-geared-to-income (RGI)

It is estimated that the full construction cost for both buildings will be in excess of  $12,000,000.  The City is acquiring design drawings for the entire housing complex, however a construction schedule for the second building will be established once additional funds become available. The new housing project would be transferred to Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation (CAHC) and fall under their portfolio for ongoing administration once complete.

“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.”

The site was identified as a priority location in a recent Housing Revitalization Plan, which notes 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. The plan recommends broadening the definition of affordable housing, with the objective to create healthy sustainable communities.

About Social and Housing Services

The Social and Housing Services Department of the City of Cornwall 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.

About the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation

The Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation offers quality, safe and affordable housing for seniors, families and adults.  The Corporation owns 720 senior apartments, 32 Affordable Housing units geared to non-seniors and 461 family units in Cornwall and the Three United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

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.

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