21.2 C
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Letter: Partnership with Habitat for Humanity shows how government can deliver affordable housing

Dear editor:

I appreciated Robert Bader’s letter on the housing supply problem that our communities are facing' (“There is no housing supply problem. There's a social and financial problem,” The Lake Report, April 7).

He encourages governments to lead by being innovative and to invest in effective initiatives.

I want to congratulate the City of St. Catharines for taking the lead on being innovative and ensuring that the sale of city property drives affordable housing.

St. Catharines recently approved the sale of roughly 3.8 acres of land previously occupied by the city’s community, recreation and culture services administration building.

The sale was approved provided it is used in part for affordable and social housing.

Specifically, the developer must include 43 per cent affordable housing and 14 per cent social housing.

The developer has committed to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Niagara to ensure that 32 townhouses are sold to Habitat at below-market rates.

In turn, Habitat will sell the townhouses at the same price as purchased to deserving families who would not otherwise be able to afford a home.

Habitat will sell the homes through an equity share program. Profits generated off future sales of the townhomes will be split between the selling family and Habitat, allowing for the organization to reinvest the profits in future affordable housing.

The partnership with Habitat on the 32 townhouses comes alongside requirements that 60 rental units be rented at affordable rates for the next 40 years.

This is an exciting initiative and will make an impact on the affordable housing crisis in Niagara and allow families to achieve greater stability.

Cindi LoForti Lepp


Habitat for Humanity Niagara