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$1.9M grant alloted to Bradford affordable housing project

The grant would reduce the overall investment required by the County to complete the Bradford affordable housing project at 125 Simcoe Rd.
County of Simcoe County Council has approved a 50-unit affordable housing project including a mixed family and seniors building in Bradford West Gwillimbury.

The County of Simcoe is looking to spend a $1.9M federal grant on the Bradford West Gwillimbury Affordable Housing Project at 125 Simcoe Rd. 

In a Committee of the Whole report to county council on Oct. 11, staff recommended allocating the $1.9M of Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI) to the project. 

The OPHI supports critical continued housing investments and leverages federal funding under the National Housing Strategy through new provincial investments. The OPHI program guidelines allow for funds to be put towards construction, acquisition, rehabilitation and conversion efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing. It is a multi-year funding program and additional allocations are anticipated for the fiscal years 2023/24 through 2025/26.

According to the county report, at this time, there have not been any sources of federal/provincial funding identified for the Bradford affordable housing project, which could see costs being funded through municipal and financing sources. 

The grant would reduce the overall investment required by the County to complete the project. 

To further assist with the associated costs of the project, the county recently submitted a business case to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) should any additional Canada-Ontario Community Housing Priorities Initiative (COCHI) funding become available. The business case was restricted to projects that are shovel-ready and whose funding could be committed before the end of the fiscal year 2022/23.

"Hopefully the province will set up again and will help with this affordable housing project," said Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer.

This affordable housing building is expected to welcome new tenants upon its completion (late 2023 to early 2024) with construction set to begin this fall. As part of the County of Simcoe’s Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy, this new building will contribute toward the county’s target of creating at least 2,685 new units between 2014-2024.

Located at the corner of Simcoe Road and Marshview Boulevard, the 50-unit mixed-use building will include residences for eligible families and seniors, a County of Simcoe social and community services office, and ground-level community space. In addition to creating an attractive streetscape in the area, the building will be accessible to adjacent pedestrian walkways and local transit and is within walking distance of the GO Transit station.

The four-storey building has been designed to complement the existing urban neighbourhood, with cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency in mind. Exterior building features include a high-quality and durable panel system at the residential levels, with masonry features throughout to provide texture and visual interest.

The recommendation was passed unanimously by county council. 

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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