Elgin Park Opens Phase 1

In Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Phase 1 of Elgin Park is ready for occupancy – 20 environmentally green units with special mobility and accessibility features in sizes up to four bedrooms, all of them affordable and ready for occupancy this Christmas season.

Friday was the grand opening of the development that will eventually see nine semi-detached homes replaced with four buildings of 10 units each.

With an estimated construction budget of $16 million, the redevelopment has been led by Northumberland County as the primary contributor. The federal and provincial governments have played a pivotal role, contributing $2.4 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and $5.7 million through the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative – a collaborative effort with the Federal and provincial governments.

Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Philip Lawrence declared it “an amazing accomplishment.”

Lawrence said that more than 5.8-million new homes are needed, “and a lot of those should be in the affordable phase. Brick by brick we are bridging that gap.”

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini added that 1.5-million of those homes are needed in Ontario, “and that’s a tall task. But I can tell you – you can’t do it without community.”

Piccini cited the importance of partnerships, such as the ones the county is pursuing with Habitat For Humanity Northumberland and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services.

“That is how we are going to get a roof over people’s heads,” he said.

Piccini called the Honourable Paul Calandra – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, who was visiting the riding – “an absolute champion at Queen’s Park for affordable housing.”

“This is really awesome,” Calandra remarked.

“The provincial government is focused totally on building 1.5-million homes across the province of Ontario, and we are not stopping,” he said, listing affordable housing, attainable housing, market housing, rental housing, student housing and long-term-care homes as goals.

The county continues to carry out the recommendations in its Affordable Housing Strategy to expand the housing stock available for this purpose.

Northumberland residents have one of Ontario’s lowest vacancy rates, at 1% in a county where housing costs are higher than in neighbouring communities. More than 18% of local residents pay more than the recommended maximum of 30% of their income for housing.

Of the 1,000 households on the waiting list for subsidized housing, she noted 319 were added just this last year. At any given time in Northumberland, 75 people are unhoused.

Construction on the first phase began about 2019, and provided valuable experience in how to do things more efficiently.

The second phase – demolishing the five 50-plus-year-old semi-detached homes still standing and beginning construction on the second two 10-unit buildings – will begin early in the new year.

These buildings will be identical to the first two, to allow greater efficiencies in construction. They could be occupied by early 2025.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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