Feds invest $115 million for Ottawa residential building

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Canadian government is investing $115 million to help build a 27-storey residential building in Ottawa.

The residential project at 383 Albert St. will 321 units. Construction began last year and is expected to be completed by September.

The project, which is developed by Ottawa-based Claridge Homes, is a part of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy (NHS). The goal of the NHS is to encourage a steady supply of rental housing options for middle class families in the expensive housing market.

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development and the minister responsible for the CMHC.

“This project by Claridge Homes is wonderful news for the middle-income individuals and families in Ottawa who will soon have a new place to call home.”

The rental housing in Ottawa where vacancy rates in 2019 were 1.8%. A total of 65 new units will have rents that will fall at or below 21 per cent of the median household income in the Ottawa area and those units will remain at affordability levels for 21 years past first occupancy, which will provide affordable housing options close to public transit and services for modest and middle-income individuals and families.

The project will receive funding through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families struggling in expensive housing markets across the country.

“Working with CMHC’s program has allowed us to help tackle the challenge of escalating rents that create housing challenges for so many by allowing us to increase the supply and choices available in the Ottawa market,” said Neil Malhotra, chief financial officer, Claridge Homes.

The building is designed to achieve energy efficiency savings of 22.3 percent and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of 28.8% relative to the 2015 NECB.

RCFi, a National Housing Strategy (NHS) initiative delivered by CMHC, supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing across the country for middle-class households struggling in expensive housing markets.

The total of low-cost loans available increased from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion and further increased to $13.75 billion with budget 2019. In total, the RCFi will encourage the construction of 42,500 new rental housing units across Canada.

Low-cost loans are available to borrowers who want to build purpose built rental housing in Canada in response to demonstrated community need.

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