Officials from all three levels of government came together Thursday to celebrate over a dozen affordable housing initiatives in London and the surrounding area.
While some tenants had already moved in, politicians and community leaders cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of 22 units at 77 Tecumseh Avenue.
“It’s very important to feel that you have a place where you’re comfortable living,” said Josh Bode, who lived in to a unit at 77 Tecumseh Ave in July of 2015. “Again, going back to that stigma, older buildings and things like that for affordable housing, you may not feel that you want to go there everything and feel comfortable calling it home. And you know here we can have people come over and enjoy and feel safe and happy to come and visit.”
Mayor Matt Brown was on hand for the announcement, as well as London West MP Kate Young (pictured), and Deputy Premier and London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews.
That project received a total of $1.32 million from the governments of Canada and Ontario, along with the City of London.
Thursday’s announcement represents 281 new affordable housing units in Southwestern Ontario.
According to a press release from the province, the housing initiatives, and their combined federal and provincial contributions, that were celebrated Thursday include:
- Woodfield Terrace at 380 Princess Avenue received $1.98 million for 33 units of affordable housing
- 339 Commissioners Road West received $1.85 million for 29 affordable housing units, three of which are designated for residents with mental health challenges
- 1166 Hamilton Road received $1.82 million for 26 units of affordable housing, with four of those units designated for persons with physical disabilities
- Lido Place at 129 Riverside Drive received $1.62 million for 27 units of affordable housing
- 534 Albert Street in Strathroy received $1.47 million for 21 units, 14 of which are for persons with physical disabilities and seven for seniors
- 193 Clarke Road received $1.43 million for 14 units of affordable housing for persons with physical and developmental disabilities
- 77 Tecumseh Avenue received $1.32 million for 22 units of affordable housing
- 753 Dundas Street received $773,530 for 12 units of affordable housing, with three of those units designated for victims of domestic violence
- 602 Albert in Strathroy received $720,000 for 12 affordable housing units
- 189 Dundas Street received $660,000 for 11 affordable housing units
- 115 Craig Street in Alisa Craig received $480,000 for eight affordable housing units
- Four Feathers Housing Co-operative at 205 Commissioners Road West received $468,000 for eight units of First Nations, Métis and Inuit housing
- 159 Main Street in Glencoe received $360,000 for six affordable housing units
- 173 Main Street Phase 2 in Glencoe received $360,000 for six affordable housing units
- DeafBlind Ontario at 1166 Sandbar Street received $240,000 for four units of housing for persons with hearing/vision challenges
- 2514 Tokala Trail received $240,000 for four units for those with hearing and vision challenges
- 668 Dundas Street received $141,750 for four affordable housing units
- Hambleton Hall at 203 John Street in Simcoe received $2 million for 35 units of affordable housing
Municipal contributions by London and Middlesex County for these developments were $9,306,546, while municipal contributions by Norfolk County for Hambleton Hall were $167,960.
Twelve of the projects are already occupied, while three of them are still being built. The projects still under construction include Woodfield Terrace at 380 Princess Avenue, 534 Albert Street in Strathroy, and 193 Clarke Road.
The project by London’s “It’s Our Home” at 193 Clarke Road will provide affordable housing for adults on the autism spectrum who are able to live independently. The building process began a month ago, and they hope to have tenants move in next May.
“This is actually the first of it’s kind in Canada where independent living is being offered to individuals living with autism,” said “It’s Our Home” President Marti Lussier. “My involvement has been in autism for 23 years, my son has autism… it came to me that we know that there is a definite need in the province for affordable, safe housing for individuals living with autism.”
The projects are meant to support the province’s goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years.