Report recommends Council approve funding for two affordable housing projects

Read the draft Affordable Housing Reserve recommendations

Guelph, Ont., October 14, 2021 – A report recommending the approval of two affordable housing projects totaling $1,267,646 is heading to Council for approval on October 25. If approved, the projects will add 40 new supportive housing units to Guelph.

Council approved a report in June 2021 detailing the process for awarding funding from the Affordable Housing Reserve, with $1.5 million in funding earmarked for a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, led by the County of Wellington, that would fund new affordable housing rental units in Guelph.

“To address the need for affordable housing in Guelph, the City has worked alongside partners at the County of Wellington to award funds from the Affording Housing Reserve that bring to action the goals set out in the Affordable Housing Strategy and Guelph’s Official Plan,” says Danna Evans, general manager of Culture and Recreation at the City of Guelph. “In addition to providing affordable rental housing, both offer onsite support, service and supervision to set the most vulnerable occupants up for success.”

The report recommends approval of $884,000 in funding for Guelph Welcome In Drop In Centre for Grace Gardens, a project located at 721 Woolwich Street. It will create 32 supportive housing units. The project is in the final stages of applications for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Rapid Housing Initiative which will provide the last portion of funding to move forward with the project.

The report also recommends approval of $383,646 in funding for a youth-focused supportive housing program by Wyndham House, located at 51 Bellevue Street. It will create eight new units and has already received funding through other County of Wellington programs.

The RFP process opened in July and saw a total of four applications submitted to the request for proposal process, totalling $3.4 million. Applications were evaluated by County of Wellington staff from the Housing Services division, Planning and Treasury departments and a representative from the City of Guelph. Each application was evaluated based on their business plan, financial viability, qualifications and partnerships, the quality of development planning and design, and readiness to start the project.

“There were excellent quality projects submitted to this RFP process,” says Eddie Alton, social services administrator for the County of Wellington. “The County fully supports and recognizes the work of all applications in helping to achieve our vision so that everyone can find and maintain an appropriate, safe and affordable place to call home. Developing these kinds of affordable housing options leaves an incredible legacy in this community of improved health and wellbeing.”

Impacts to the City’s budget

Supported by the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy, each budget cycle, the City contributes $500,000 to the Affordable Housing Reserve. With this year’s investment and next year’s budget allocation, $1.36 million will be left in the reserve to support an RFP led by County of Wellington for housing project submissions in 2022.

Media contact

Danna Evans, General Manager
Culture and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2621
[email protected]