Greater Sudbury City Council has approved the location of a transitional housing project and can now apply for federal funds earmarked for rapid housing for the project.
The council approved a plan at its August 17 meeting to build up to 40 units on Lorraine Street, near Lasalle Boulevard. and Avenue Notre-Dame, northwest of downtown.
This step will allow Greater Sudbury to request $ 7.4 million in funds already set aside for the city as part of the second phase of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Quick Housing Initiative.
“The Lorraine Street site essentially provides a blank canvas for a purpose built complex that incorporates the needs of community partners in development,” said Tyler Campbell, Director of Social Services for Greater Sudbury.
Funding requires units to be ready within 12 months and the city says it hopes the facility will be ready for those in need in Greater Sudbury by the end of 2022.
Urgent housing needs exist in Sudbury
Greater Sudbury is one of 30 communities identified by CMHC in Round 2 of its Rapid Housing Funding as having the most urgent housing needs. The criteria include the number of people waiting for accommodation and the average cost of accommodation.
Sudbury also has a lack of supportive housing infrastructure, which the report to council cited as one of the city’s biggest hurdles. CMHC named Sudbury as the shortlisted municipality for affordable housing funds on July 20.
Councilors Fern Cormier, Joscelyne Landry-Altmann and Deb McIntosh have long advocated for transitional housing. The Board unanimously approved the business case for a transitional housing site during its 2021 budget process, including construction costs and operating funds to both manage the site and provide a clinical treatment team to residents.
The city expected construction costs to exceed $ 10 million for a 40- to 60-unit building, and CMHC’s pledge of $ 7.4 million would help offset that amount for a 40- to 60-unit building. maximum accommodation.
Lorraine Street’s proposal obtains unanimous support
Council unanimously approved the proposed site for a transitional housing complex on Lorraine Street, allowing municipal staff to apply for the reserved funds from CMHC. The short six-week window to apply meant staff had to limit their search to municipality-owned properties with compatible zoning, services and size.
The other option shared in the report, as a less desirable option, was 1127 Bancroft Drive. This is the site of the former Saint-Jean school, currently used for other purposes.
The Lorraine Street property has plenty of space and the potential for future expansion, access to transportation and social services, and is close to other permanent housing options, possibly facilitating transitions from supportive housing to supportive housing. longer term options.
The site also includes many green spaces, important for fostering healing for Indigenous residents, as the city heard during the business case consultations.
Cormier asked where the balance of funds would come from, as the city had initially forecast construction costs to reach $ 10 million.
Campbell said the Aug. 17 report was intended only to secure funding from CMHC and that council would later receive more detailed cost estimates and possible sources of funding for consideration.
Cormier asked if the current federal election could jeopardize funding in the event of a change of government. Campbell said the city has yet to receive funding, but further discussions have suggested funding may be stable due to Sudbury’s identified needs.
Campbell said the proposal to offer in-house support services would also mean people with the most complex needs would be prioritized for this site.
Staff told the meeting that there are approximately 45 to 60 days before CMHC confirms funding.