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Committee approves plan to create more than 550 units of affordable housing

June 25, 2020
Council Updates

With its 2020 budget, the City committed $15 million in capital funding for new affordable housing in Ottawa. The City’s Planning Committee today approved a spending plan to help housing providers deliver more than 550 new affordable units.

The funds will focus on projects that provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income renters and supportive housing. $10 million would go to Ottawa Community Housing Corporation for projects including 338 units within Phase I of Gladstone Village and 220 units within Phase II of Rochester Heights. An additional $2 million would fund pre-development activities to prepare surplus City-owned lands already identified for affordable housing.

The City has also set aside $3 million to acquire or finance hotels and motels that might become available due to current economic conditions. A request for offers was issued in May and could add to the overall number of affordable units created.

The approved plan also proposes how to spend $2.58 million from the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative. Ottawa Community Housing Corporation would receive $1.62 million for the third and final building at 715 Mikinak Road in Wateridge Village, promising up to 42 units and a partnership with the developmental services sector. Habitat for Humanity would receive $960,000 to pilot an affordable rent-to-own housing project at 455 Wanaki Road, also in Wateridge Village.

The staff report also highlights several affordable housing initiatives beyond 2020:

  • At 159 Forward Avenue, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation will start to build 31 affordable units later this year.
  • At 933 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation will start to build more than 1,000 affordable units in 2021.
  • At 557 Albert Street, the City is in negotiations over 100 affordable units on City land in LeBreton Flats.
  • At 1770 Heatherington Road, formal planning applications are underway for 150 units, a public park and community hub.

The Committee approved a temporary zoning amendment to relax regulations around restaurant and retail patios, to help encourage economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City would be more flexible about size and location of restaurant patios and outdoor retail space, to help businesses accommodate patrons and maintain physical distancing.

The temporary change to regulations would apply for the current patio season and would expire on Saturday, October 31. The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will consider this matter on Thursday, July 8.

Three planned towers at 900 Albert Street, across from Bayview Station, are one step closer to construction. The Committee approved a 65-storey residential tower and 24-storey office tower, with a 56-storey residential tower to be built later. The development promises to add 1,241 dwellings along with retail and office space, all connected to Bayview Station by a new pedestrian bridge.

The Committee approved zoning to permit a commercial parking lot within the garage of two 27-storey towers under construction on Gloucester and Nepean streets, west of Metcalfe Street. The building was planned as a condo but has become a rental building with less demand for tenant parking than anticipated. The Committee approved using 125 surplus spaces to help meet downtown parking demand.

Recommendations from today’s Planning Committee meeting will go to Council on Wednesday, July 15.

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