Belleville, Trenton: Hastings consolidates its housing portfolio for renewal, cost savings
Hastings County, a public housing provider, is seeking permission from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to sell 47 single-family scattered units and replace them with 50 new, multi-residential units by 2023.
The County has an aging population and a need for accessible housing that’s suitable for families and seniors. The scattered homes are between 40 and 60 years old, aren’t energy efficient, and would require extensive structural modification to become accessible.
In this case, Michelle Ogden, Assistant Manager of Affordable Housing Policy and Partnership at Hastings County, says “It’s more cost effective in the long run to build new.”
The County will sell the properties gradually, as they become vacant or as current tenants living in them move to market rent or become over-housed. Market rent tenants living in these properties will be given the first opportunity to purchase them when they’re put up for sale. Afterwards, the opportunity will be extended to other Hastings County tenants who are paying market rent.
Six new units are already planned, using Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program funding. An additional eight townhouse units are being planned on an existing land in Belleville and Trenton. Together, these units will provide homes for some of the families who are moving out of single homes. Thirty-six additional townhouses and low-rise units will be built in Belleville and Quinte West by 2023.
By replacing scattered housing with multi-residential units, the County is expecting to save $141,000 a year in maintenance and utility costs.
The County started planning to replace its housing stock in 2008 and had property assessments done that year. They’ve also kept a record of maintenance costs for each of the properties. This information helped to guide the planning process and build a case for the Ministry.