Affordable Housing gets Funding

For some time, the County has been planning an expansion of affordable housing at their Elgin Park development and on Thursday July 23, $5.7M funding for it was announced through the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI) – that’s a joint Federal/Provincial initiative.  The announcement was made by Steve Clark, (Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing) and Adam Vaughan (Federal MP & Parliamentary Secretary) – see photos below.  There are currently 18 units at the development in 9 duplexes and when complete there will be 40 units in 8 two storey buildings of 4 plexes and 6 plexes including a shared green space with a playground and recreational area.  The new money will fund 28 of the new units, all of which will be affordable, rent-geared-to-income, housing. The details of the project were provided in March 2019 – see link below.

Affordable housing is managed for the County by the Northumberland County Housing Corporation (NCHC).  They currently have 344 owned and operated housing units which include rent-geared-to-income (RGI) and affordable rental options.  This project will increase this number to 366.  You can get more info on NCHC here – including agendas and minutes of their board meetings. The chair of their board of directors is Gil Brocanier and he also spoke at the announcement.

Since the existing units will not be habitable while the new units are constructed, as tenants vacate, their units will not be rented again.  Work will be starting before the end of the year and no tenants will be evicted during the project since there are already some vacant units.   There is more information on how this will be managed in the links on this page.

The project will take several years to complete and helps meet the needs in the County – especially Cobourg which has the highest demand in the County.

While all the speakers talked about the need for affordable housing, Minister Steve Clark made a point of mentioning how MPP David Piccini was “unwavering in his support for affordable housing”.  He also said that “You [the county] are a model for housing projects”. Federal representative Adam Vaughan gave tribute to the County with “you can’t do this without strong local leaders”.

Although the public was not invited to the announcement, there were perhaps 30 people there, all wearing masks except while speaking and all practicing social distancing:

  • Most County Councillors including Warden Bob Sanderson and Cobourg Mayor John Henderson
  • County Staff including CAO Jennifer Moore
  • MP Philip Lawrence
  • MPP David Piccini
  • NCHC board members including chair Gil Brocanier

Below are some photos of the speakers.



County Staff provided a report on this project to County Council on 26 August.  Report includes a detailed description of the project.  Download report here. (from County portal)

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Deborah O'Connor
3 years ago

I lived in one of these units with my two kids for 8 years starting in 1986. They were already replacing the tiled floors and kitchen cupboards (took out solid wooden ones and replaced them with particle board pressed wood-like stuff). Thanks to the NDP being elected I got a board seat as the only tenant to ever hold a board position there. I was promptly removed by the Mike Harris crew over the objections of our new tory chair who saw that it was helpful to have a tenant on the board. The former tory chair was a country boy, once our MPP whose favourite saying was “holy snappers”. Old timers like me will no doubt remember him. We had the son of another former tory MPP in the position of manager. I had gone to high school with him; pleasant lad but not exactly a deep thinker. When his dad was running to be MPP my dad wrote his campaign speeches for him.

For any of the old boys looking for an excuse to excoriate me, I will add that as a single parent on a combination of “Mother’s Allowance” and income from work, my initial rent was $189 a month plus hydro. When I left, working by now full time at the brand new Legal Centre I helped create, my rent was $749, with my teenage son paying another $50 from his part time job. Since market rent was about the same and my daughter had already fled the nest, it was time to go and let another family benefit from decent housing as we had. We BBQd in our backyard, had a large-ish inflatable pool for our young friends and family, and grew tomatoes too.

Good quality of life then and the backyards were private and fenced. The lilac tree my son transplanted flourished; no doubt it will be destroyed now too.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
3 years ago

Hi Deborah: My good wife and I are in the “Cobourg Newcomer Category” – didn’t grow up in Cobourg – and I just want to say how much people like us enjoy bloggers like you sharing your stories of Cobourg’s past. Both your personal family experiences and insight into Cobourg’s many past accomplishments. In my experience couples/families who now move to Cobourg spend a lot of time picking where they want to live. We visited Cobourg by boat for 15 summers with our children aboard and decided that Cobourg is where we wanted to live after retiring. So a tip of the hat to long time Cobourg residents. The Newcomers are here to help continue the Town’s traditions.

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  Old Sailor
3 years ago

Glad to have you here, your early visits reminded me of how all four of my grandparents found this town and decided to make it home. The famous Horse Show in Donegan park marked the occasion of them meeting each other a few years before my parents were born. Except for my Edinburgh born maternal grandmother, all were English.
Here’s a useful link that contains the outline of how and when Cobourg came to be, along with links to local history books. I have two copies of another written to celebrate Cobourg’s sesquicentennial in 1987 that contains our history too. I would be happy to give you one of them, just email John and he can connect us.

Cobourg: Early Days and Modern Times Ed. John Spilsbury, The Cobourg Book Committee, 1981

Cobourg Sesquicentennial 1837 – 1987

Alma Beston
3 years ago

What about the 27 units ready to be built upon further funding at Trinity Place? This site has been ready to go for several years. The architecture plane are known by our town council.

Reply to  Alma Beston
3 years ago

RED TAPE Strikes again and how long has Trinity really been trying to get a project off the ground ??????

3 years ago

I think they are talking about removing the existing buildings and replacing them with higher-density ones, but you certainly can’t tell for sure from this write up or the links provided.
Why not state the facts in explicit terms for all to see?

Reply to  John Draper
3 years ago

What a great idea. Sending buildings to landfill seems a waste.The existing buildings are likely made for their time, with real and solid material like wood studs and roof joists and could be stripped back to the frame and have new drywall applied after pipes and wiring are updated. The lower portion walls with brick veneer seem to have been well finished, mortar joints even and clean. The house I saw moved from near the intersection of University and William had its roof removed before moving. I have heard that there are a few empty units to be used to house existing tenants temporarily while their units are removed and rebuilt. A methodical progression across the site. However, not sure why the existing buildings could not remain on site, reconfigured internally and with additions in between, on front and back and adding a third floor. The add-ons mostly built pre-fab in a local industrial building and dropped into place on site with minimal disturbance. Anybody know the expected life span of the new buildings?

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  MiriamM
3 years ago

All I know is they’re tearing down buildings that are at least 10 years newer than the bungalow I live in, built in 1954, along with the others at the Walton Street end of Munroe. Just in time to send the many kids of the day to Gummow school, where I went. It was brand new then, like Burnham Street school across town. Up til the baby boomer generation Central school, re-named Thomas Gillbard, took in all Cobourg’s children. Not sure when St. Michael’s school was built on the back of the Catholic church of the same name. To me it was always there so likely of the same time frame. Those soldiers certainly got busy when they came home.

Reply to  MiriamM
3 years ago

A house on University was relocated for use as a Habitat house. The last I heard it was put in ‘storage’ in Port Hope until the site in Baltimore is ready. It had to be moved because construction was to begin but now there have been more delays for the apartment building.