West harbour land sale could fund Hamilton’s affordable housing

News Dec 09, 2015 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

A pair of city councillors have hatched a plan to direct sales proceeds from municipally-owned west harbour lands toward Hamilton's starved affordable-housing stock.

The properties, already earmarked for residential and commercial development, include parcels at piers 7 and 8.

[City 'on cusp' of a world-class waterfront development]

Those parcels will be "development-ready" for 2018 and sold to private builders, Coun. Jason Farr said Tuesday.

Farr wants a part of the sales revenue from the "coveted, valuable, waterfront properties" to be funneled into rehabilitating existing affordable-housing units and building new ones.

During Tuesday's community emergency services meeting, staff were directed to report back with a parcel inventory, land values and investment strategy for housing and homelessness initiatives.

Farr noted fellow councillor Chad Collins and CityHousing have helped draft the funding blueprint.

"We're talking about a substantial sum of money," Collins said. "We're into the millions."

He hopes those proceeds will at least "put a dent" in the city's social housing challenges.

The city faces a daunting social housing backlog with nearly 6,000 applicants on its wait list.

[Affordable housing: If boom means bust]

Also critical is the price tag attached to maintaining existing social housing stock and building more units to meet future needs.

Over 20 years, the city expects those capital demands to eclipse $600 million, noted Gillian Hendry, director of housing services, praising the councillors' initiative.

"We think it's a really creative approach and we're delighted to have a motion such as this because capital costs are huge," Hendry said.

There's no provincial or federal funding dedicated to social housing maintenance, she noted.

Proceeds from the potential sale of the Barton-Tiffany lands, which the city bought by borrowing from the Hamilton Future Fund, are not up for consideration.

The city has borrowed tens of millions from the fund for projects — including the failed west harbour stadium plan — and has committed to paying that back.

The city has worked for years to turn barren industrial land on the waterfront into a rejuvenated lakeside community.

On Pier 8, which already includes Sarcoa restaurant, Williams Café and a skating rink, as many as 1,600 residential units alone are envisioned.

"We're in the final stages of the planning process," Collins said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro

West harbour land sale could fund Hamilton’s affordable housing

Nearly 6,000 applicants on city's housing wait list

News Dec 09, 2015 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

A pair of city councillors have hatched a plan to direct sales proceeds from municipally-owned west harbour lands toward Hamilton's starved affordable-housing stock.

The properties, already earmarked for residential and commercial development, include parcels at piers 7 and 8.

[City 'on cusp' of a world-class waterfront development]

Those parcels will be "development-ready" for 2018 and sold to private builders, Coun. Jason Farr said Tuesday.

Farr wants a part of the sales revenue from the "coveted, valuable, waterfront properties" to be funneled into rehabilitating existing affordable-housing units and building new ones.

During Tuesday's community emergency services meeting, staff were directed to report back with a parcel inventory, land values and investment strategy for housing and homelessness initiatives.

Farr noted fellow councillor Chad Collins and CityHousing have helped draft the funding blueprint.

"We're talking about a substantial sum of money," Collins said. "We're into the millions."

He hopes those proceeds will at least "put a dent" in the city's social housing challenges.

The city faces a daunting social housing backlog with nearly 6,000 applicants on its wait list.

[Affordable housing: If boom means bust]

Also critical is the price tag attached to maintaining existing social housing stock and building more units to meet future needs.

Over 20 years, the city expects those capital demands to eclipse $600 million, noted Gillian Hendry, director of housing services, praising the councillors' initiative.

"We think it's a really creative approach and we're delighted to have a motion such as this because capital costs are huge," Hendry said.

There's no provincial or federal funding dedicated to social housing maintenance, she noted.

Proceeds from the potential sale of the Barton-Tiffany lands, which the city bought by borrowing from the Hamilton Future Fund, are not up for consideration.

The city has borrowed tens of millions from the fund for projects — including the failed west harbour stadium plan — and has committed to paying that back.

The city has worked for years to turn barren industrial land on the waterfront into a rejuvenated lakeside community.

On Pier 8, which already includes Sarcoa restaurant, Williams Café and a skating rink, as many as 1,600 residential units alone are envisioned.

"We're in the final stages of the planning process," Collins said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro

West harbour land sale could fund Hamilton’s affordable housing

Nearly 6,000 applicants on city's housing wait list

News Dec 09, 2015 by Teviah Moro The Hamilton Spectator

A pair of city councillors have hatched a plan to direct sales proceeds from municipally-owned west harbour lands toward Hamilton's starved affordable-housing stock.

The properties, already earmarked for residential and commercial development, include parcels at piers 7 and 8.

[City 'on cusp' of a world-class waterfront development]

Those parcels will be "development-ready" for 2018 and sold to private builders, Coun. Jason Farr said Tuesday.

Farr wants a part of the sales revenue from the "coveted, valuable, waterfront properties" to be funneled into rehabilitating existing affordable-housing units and building new ones.

During Tuesday's community emergency services meeting, staff were directed to report back with a parcel inventory, land values and investment strategy for housing and homelessness initiatives.

Farr noted fellow councillor Chad Collins and CityHousing have helped draft the funding blueprint.

"We're talking about a substantial sum of money," Collins said. "We're into the millions."

He hopes those proceeds will at least "put a dent" in the city's social housing challenges.

The city faces a daunting social housing backlog with nearly 6,000 applicants on its wait list.

[Affordable housing: If boom means bust]

Also critical is the price tag attached to maintaining existing social housing stock and building more units to meet future needs.

Over 20 years, the city expects those capital demands to eclipse $600 million, noted Gillian Hendry, director of housing services, praising the councillors' initiative.

"We think it's a really creative approach and we're delighted to have a motion such as this because capital costs are huge," Hendry said.

There's no provincial or federal funding dedicated to social housing maintenance, she noted.

Proceeds from the potential sale of the Barton-Tiffany lands, which the city bought by borrowing from the Hamilton Future Fund, are not up for consideration.

The city has borrowed tens of millions from the fund for projects — including the failed west harbour stadium plan — and has committed to paying that back.

The city has worked for years to turn barren industrial land on the waterfront into a rejuvenated lakeside community.

On Pier 8, which already includes Sarcoa restaurant, Williams Café and a skating rink, as many as 1,600 residential units alone are envisioned.

"We're in the final stages of the planning process," Collins said.

tmoro@thespec.com

905-526-3264 | @TeviahMoro