Feds, province announce $92M for 5 housing projects in Ottawa

CBC News

Joanne Chianello · CBC · Posted: Nov 22, 2022

The federal and provincial housing ministers chose National Housing Day to announce $91.85 million in funding for 272 affordable units in Ottawa.

More than half the funds are earmarked for a federal low-cost loan to local developer Taggart to build affordable 122 units in Little Italy. 

Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of housing and diversity and inclusion, was on hand Tuesday morning for the announcement at a John Howard Society supportive housing complex at 289 Carling Ave. He was joined by Ontario's associate minister of housing, Michael Parsa, as well as a number of local officials.

The funding comes from five different housing programs, with most of the money coming from the federal government. The Ontario Housing Initiative is purely provincial, and two other programs involve both upper levels of government. The remaining two programs — the Rapid Housing Initiative and the Rental Construction Financing Initiative — are both federal programs.

The announcement includes the following projects:

  • $48 million in loans for Taggart Group through the federal Rental Construction Financing Initiative, a program that provides low-cost financing for developers in order to incentivize the building of rental units. This nine-storey building at 93 Norman St. will include 122 units at different levels of affordability. Sixteen units will be accessible. 
    • $20 million — with less than half coming from the province — for a four-storey building run by the non-profit Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corp. Of the 40 units at 159 Forward Ave, the site of the city's former family shelter, 30 will be designated as affordable, 19 will be at or below the average market rent. All units will be accessible, and six will be barrier-free. 
    • $14 million for a John Howard Society supportive housing program for women experiencing chronic homelessness, with a focus on Indigenous women. The 29-unit project at 494 Lisgar St. will have 24-hour support on site.
    • $5.85 million toward Ottawa Community Housing's project at 3380 Jockvale Rd. that will include 32 affordable units for families in the shelter system. Seven will be accessible.
  • $4 million for another John Howard Society supportive housing project for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The six-storey building at 289 Carling Ave., which is already built, includes 40 self-contained affordable units, eight of which are accessible. The city has also contributed more than $1 million to this project.