The Blossom Park project will receive a financial commitment from the federal government of more than $2.9 million with 34 new affordable housing units being constructed.
A new affordable housing building is getting an influx of cash from the federal government.
The Blossom Park project will receive a financial commitment from the federal government of more than $2.9 million. The building will see the construction of 34 apartment units at 373 Blossom Park Road, which is run by Indwell, to the already existing 27 one bedroom apartments.
The announcement was made Monday morning with representatives from the Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Indwell Community Homes and locals involved in government and the community.
The 34 apartments will be available for people struggling with mental health and addiction issues or those with other disabilities this spring. Programs and services to help will also be offered on site.
“This project brings permanent supported homes to those in Oxford County with complex mental health and health concerns,” Indwell Executive Director Jeffrey Neven said. “We’re thrilled with the announcement of this funding – it represents the care and concern of Canadians for some of our most vulnerable neighbours.
“Working together with the government, faith communities and private and corporate donors, we can create hope and homes for all,” he added.
Indwell, formerly known as Homestead Christian Care, has provided affordable housing in Southwestern Ontario for more than 40 years, including the apartments at 373 Blossom Park Road. They also operate the Harvey Woods Lofts on Vansittart Avenue. Indwell has a 25-year agreement for the Blossom Park project.
The housing complex are Oxford’s first multi-residential development that’s built to passive house standard, which is considered the most rigorous voluntary standard for energy efficiency.
Indwell said in a release the new building will aim to achieve energy savings of 57.9 per cent and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 55.3 per cent compared to the NECB in 2015.
“We wanted to build the most energy-efficient and sustainable building we could,” Graham Cubitt, Indwell’s director of projects and development, told the Sentinel-Review in March, 2018.
He estimated tenants could pay as little as $50 a year for their heating bills since passive houses utilize the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery to make conventional heating systems unnecessary. Passive house standard buildings only require about 10 per cent of energy used in buildings. The Woodstock builder, Trigon Construction, was involved in the building aspect.
In 2017, the County mandated all requests for proposals for affordable housing developments have passive house requirements as the building standard.
All units and common areas of the building will be accessible through a universal design and seven of the units will be fully accessible. The 34 units will also have a rent representing 57 per cent of the median market rent.
The federal government’s commitment will cover about 37 per cent of the total $7.91 million construction cost. They’re also receiving $2,153,270 from Oxford County council, with $1,126,795 from other provincial and federal funding and $1,02,475 from municipal funding.
“We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed and this is why we are extremely happy to be supporting this wonderful project through the National Housing Strategy,” Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said.
“Having a safe and affordable place to call home is the basic foundation that will enable the future tenants of Blossom Park to focus on their health and begin to build a better life for themselves,” he added.
The money’s coming from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), which is part of the National Housing Strategy. The government launched the NHCF in 2018 and it’s the largest program of its kind in Canadian history.
It has a budget of $13.2 billion and gives priority to projects with the greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, veterans, young adults and people dealing with mental health and addictions.
A release said the Canadian government will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the new decade.
The NHCF will also create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors. They’ll also create 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
The NHCF is part of the larger government Investing in Canada plan, which will see more than $180 billion over the next 12 years spent on public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Tillsonburg will also see 16 affordable apartment units on Sanders Street and the Delatre Street project on the old Victoria Public School site will have 22 affordable housing units and 12 market rent units. A further project at 300 Juliana Drive will also be announced.
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