New project aims to battle housing affordability

BY ALEX GREGORY

A new housing complex in south Mississauga is aiming to provide affordable housing to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Nonprofit group Indwell unveiled the latest plans for their new mixed-use development Wednesday evening — a project that will see 68 units plus ground-floor commercial businesses placed at 425 Lakeshore Road East, the former site of the Firestone automotive centre.

“What we’ve realized over time is that people need places to live, and that you can’t always rely on the market to provide those places,” said Graham Cubit, the organization’s director of projects and development, who spoke to more than 30 residents about the project at the Cawthra Seniors’ Centre.

Indwell currently 17 buildings in three communities throughout the province, including Woodstock, Hamilton and Simcoe, and aims to bring a new development to Mississauga to support residents living with disabilities with affordable housing. The units would average around $530 per month in rent, said Cubitt, who explained that the project is aimed at reducing the barriers for residents who have limited income.

“What has changed is the cost of living,” he said, referring to recent regional reports outlining average wait times of six years or more for affordable housing units. “That is a massive problem for someone who has limited income.” The organization, which houses approximately 560 tenants across its sites, works with applicants to find the best support services for their needs, as well as guarantees rent for the next 30 years at 70 per cent less of the average market rent.

The organization has already seen success converting properties that have been abandoned or left in significant disrepair into more active communities, he continued. The project is intended to be of a “modest scale”, with pre-development work already underway, including the removal of contaminated soil that was left under the property.

When asked how Indwell differs from other social housing providers like SHIP (Supportive Housing in Peel), Cubitt said that the organization differs in the way it deals with clients and has a different organizational structure.

“We believe (this development) will have a positive impact, not just on the tenants, but on the community as a whole,” he said. “The solutions we want to create have to be permanent because we’re here for the long-term.”

The development is set to go before the city’s planning and development committee next month for approval, and construction is set to begin in October. The site is planned for completion in Jan. 2021.

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Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
editor@asiametro.ca

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