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Nearly $1.4 million in city funds urged for permanent supportive housing project

Wellington County officials recommend city council dedicate funds to Kindle Communities project in Onward Willow area
20210308 Kindle project on Willow Road 2
Artistic rendering of the permanent supportive housing project planned for 85 and 89 Willow Rd.

City council is being urged to empty its affordable housing reserve and provide nearly $1.4 million for a 32-unit supportive housing project in the Onward Willow neighbourhood.

The recommendation from County of Wellington officials is slated for a city council decision at its May 30 meeting. 

If approved, the dollars would go toward a project at 10 Shelldale Cres. – made up of previously severed lands behind apartment buildings at 85 and 89 Willow Rd. – being headed by Kindle Communities and Guelph Community Health Centre (GCHC) on lands donated by Skyline Group of Companies and Starlight Investments.

“This project scored very well in the evaluation process and represents an excellent opportunity to create long term affordable housing options that will also support our community’s goal of ending chronic homelessness,” states a letter to council from the county’s social services department. “Receipt of municipal funding will reduce the debt the organization will need to finance, which will in turn increase the long-term viability of the project. 

“This project has previously received funding from the County of Wellington through federal/provincial affordable housing request for proposals.”

An application for the remainder of needed funding from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation is underway, the later notes.

Last May city council unanimously approved zoning bylaw changes needed for the project to go forward.

During its upcoming meeting, council will also consider ratifying a committee of adjustment decision from earlier this month that would see $575,832 from Guelph Police Service’s 2021 surplus allocated to the affordable housing reserve.