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City of Cambridge: City welcomes affordable housing funding announcement
Cambridge, Ontario. (January 13, 2022) The City of Cambridge welcomed a major funding announcement today which will enable a new housing development for the Indigenous community of Cambridge and Waterloo Region.
Earlier this morning, the Region of Waterloo announced $3 million in funding for the development of 30 new homes which will be managed by KW Urban Native Wigwam Project. This significant investment was announced alongside $4.5 million in funding for the development from the Rapid Housing Initiative through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC).
Last year, Cambridge City Council approved a staff proposal to lift a holding bylaw from the property at 27-31 Cambridge Street to allow for the construction of a five-storey, 30-unit affordable housing development for the Indigenous community. Sixteen of these homes will be dedicated specifically to Indigenous women and their children.
Holding bylaws allow future uses for land or buildings but delay development until certain conditions are met. In this case, community benefits of a proposed project on the vacant lot needed to be demonstrated.
“There is an increasing need for affordable housing in Cambridge. These units are more than a roof over someone’s head, they offer a place to heal, grow and learn. In this case, many of those people will be women and children,” said Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “We all must work together to end chronic homelessness. This is an opportunity to bring culturally safe and affordable housing to the Indigenous community while contributing to the overall wellbeing of our community.”
Located in downtown Cambridge, this housing development will provide easy access to transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, amenities and services, providing opportunities for people to live and work in the Galt core area, while helping to reduce the waiting list for affordable housing in our community.
“A key action in the City’s Strategic Plan – Cambridge Connected – is to work with the Region and government partners, as well as with the community to look for innovative ways to increase attainable housing options,” added Hardy Bromberg, Deputy City Manager of the Community Development Department. “This project has clear community benefits. This much appreciated funding announcement today, along with the bylaw change, means that this important project can move through the planning process and enable staff to work with KW Urban Native Wigwam Project to get shovels in the ground.”
Last year, Waterloo Regional Council also approved an architect for the redevelopment of a Waterloo Region Housing property that will add 96 affordable housing units in Cambridge. The redevelopment of 581-595 Langs Drive will add 96 new units to the property, for a total of 134 affordable units. These new units will be a mix of sizes, bedrooms, and finishes to meet community and accessibility needs in Cambridge. The City also issued a building permit for an apartment building on 195 Hespeler Road of which 33 of the 55 units will be will affordable housing.
City staff continue to work with the Region to help facilitate and encourage affordable housing developments. For example, City Council exempts affordable housing projects from paying planning and building permit fees, and defers the payment of city development charges for 20 years.
For more information about finding affordable housing, please visit the Region’s website at https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/living-here/find-affordable-housing.aspx
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