A vacant parking lot overlooking a demolished building site was warmed on a very cold Tuesday morning by the announcement of almost $11 Million federal dollars for affordable housing on Ottawa Steet North.
Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors and MP for Hamilton West Ancaster and Dundas, was on hand for the announcement made jointly, on the land of the membership of the Hamilton Regional Indigenous Centre, with Mayor Fred Eisenberger and YWCA CEO, Denise Christopherson. The 50 or so who braved the bone-chilling weather to hear the news included members of the public, the Ottawa Street BIA, city staff, media, and Ward 3’s Councillor Nrinder Nann.
In her statement, Minister Tassi said success begins with a home, as she described the federal contribution to a $22 Million project to provide housing for vulnerable women. The 50 units provided by the six-story building will include ten fully accessible apartments and barrier-free common areas, 35 will “have rent representing less than 75% of the median market”, and there will be 15 units geared toward women with developmental disabilities. Included in the building plans is a “revamped” seniors’ centre and two community spaces, one indoors and one out.
“We are thrilled to realize our vision of safe, affordable housing for women, girls and families on Ottawa Street. Housing is a starting point for women to move forward. And thanks to this commitment by the federal government, we are able to provide women with a foundation that is necessary for them to succeed. Because every dollar we invest in women is an investment in the greater community,” said Denise Christopherson, CEO of YWCA Hamilton.
The following details of the project were provided by the YWCA:
- The projected construction cost of the Ottawa Street YWCA Redevelopment is over $22.2 million.
- With its Passive House design, the YWCA Hamilton aims to achieve energy savings of 75% and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 25% compared to the National Energy Code for Buildings in 2015.
- All units and common areas of the building will be accessible through universal design and 10 units will be barrier-free.
- 35 units will be affordable and will have rent representing less than 75% of the median market rent.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, people with mental health and addiction issues, veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
- Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for survivors of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure,trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.