By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg Mayor John Henderson expressed hope at last Monday’s council meeting for some kind of boost to the town’s affordable-housing stock, with some pieces of the puzzle falling into place.
One was a recent vote at Northumberland County council, following a presentation on the Northumberland County Housing Corporation.
“We asked CAO (Jennifer) Moore to look at our reserve fund to see if any money could be allocated for future projects in this coming year. Based on that, we made a motion to release $1-million out of reserves which can be used toward rental or attainable or affordable housing, in particular for those of low or moderate income,” the mayor reported.
This $1-million investment in the affordable rental housing capital incentive program is in fulfillment of a key recommendation in the Northumberland County Affordable Housing Strategy that was presented at the March 2019 county council meeting.
Henderson also mentioned the lot at 473 Ontario St., which was purchased by Northumberland County at the end of 2019 as the site of an affordable-housing build. This project is a collaboration between the county and Habitat For Humanity Northumberland, along with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Service. The county is setting aside $850,000 for this initiative.
The timing coincides with Cobourg council approval that evening of another piece of the puzzle.
The Affordable & Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan they voted to adopt provided incentive options for encouraging the creation of new affordable and rental housing and the implementation of sustainable/urban design, universal design and brownfield re-development measures for all types of new private sector development and re-development proposals in the municipality.
The motion to accept the plan included prioritized and expedited approval for development projects that increase the supply of purpose-built rental housing, smaller unit sizes, secondary units, and mixed-ratio builds, and support of transitional housing initiatives as part of the plan’s 2021 intake.