With 1,500 households on the waiting list for affordable housing in Greater Sudbury, the construction of a 14-unit complex on Sparks Street is welcome news to those in need.
The site of the former RCMP detachment at 1310 Sparks Street will be redeveloped into 14 one-bedroom units for tenants on the Social Housing waitlist. The city’s Housing Services department lists “households” instead of individuals,
“One-bedroom units are the highest demand on our waitlist right now,” said Steve Jacques, general manager, Community Development for the City of Greater Sudbury.
The former RCMP detachment will be torn down, starting within days, to make way for the new development, and it is expected to be complete and operational by mid-2022.
“The RCMP detachment at 1310 Sparks St. served our Sudbury community for many years,” said Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre. “It is a proud day to know the site will continue to do so by providing more homes to residents in Sudbury that meet their needs and they can afford. More affordable housing is needed, and our government is proud to help provide it.”
There is no preconceived design notion on how the building will look, and the city will be seeking input from the public and working with planners and architects to come to a conclusion on its final design, Jacques said.
“I hear constantly the need for more affordable housing in Sudbury, so this is council responding to that need and working with the federal government,” said Mayor Brian Bigger. “This is an excellent location within very close proximity to medical clinics, the New Sudbury Centre, the public library and transit routes. It was a great opportunity we could not pass up.”
The federal government is providing $556,400 for the acquisition of the land.
“We have been working on this acquisition for about a year,” Bigger said. “And while COVID-19 has thrown things off track a bit, we are now back on track and ready to go. It will be a great addition to the affordable housing we already have.”
Rents will be maintained at a level of at least 50 per cent of the median market rent for the City of Greater Sudbury for a minimum of 55 years. The medial market rent of a one-bedroom apartment in the City of Greater Sudbury as of October 2019 was $1,000 per month as per Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation data.
The new development will be built to passive house specifications, maximizing the building's energy efficiency to consume up to 90 per cent less heating and cooling energy than traditional builds. The development will be built with either barrier-free common areas and at least 31 per cent of the units meeting the Federal Lands Initiative's accessibility criteria or full universal design with 21 per cent of the units meeting accessibility standards.