Corp Comm Connects

Plans for six-storey affordable housing complex on Main Street in Stouffville take shape

Housing York is hoping to have the project complete by the end of 2022
March 9, 2020
Simon Martin

An affordable housing apartment is inching closer to being built in Stouffville.

Housing York provided an update on its project at 5676 Main Street to council on March 3. The preliminary site plan includes 97 units in a six-storey building with 156 surface parking spaces. The first floor of the building would have a variety of amenity spaces for community partnerships or different agencies. Josh Scholten, representing Housing York, said the majority of the units would be one-bedroom apartments because those are in the highest demand, according to Housing York. The preliminary plan has 63 one-bedroom units, 27 two-bedroom units and 7 three-bedroom units.

Housing York is anticipating site plan approval for the project sometime in the summer or fall. That’s when work will begin on the site, including the demolition of the existing Chas Richards and Son building. They are hoping to have the project completed late in 2022.   

Housing York runs 37 properties and over 2600 units in the region. There are more than 17,000 people on the centralized waiting list for affordable housing in York Region, with 3,200 people selecting Stouffville as a place they would like to live, Scholten said. The buildings are modern and fit into the neighbourhood.

“if you were driving around the region, you'd hardly be able to tell they were any different than some of the condo buildings,” Scholten said.

Scholten said Housing York was fortunate to come across the former Chas Richards and Son site in Stouffville. The 3.7-acre site immediately east of Metro on Main Street is big enough for Housing York to consider a second building in the future.

Council was excited about the prospects for the new proposal, but Ward 4 Coun. Rick Upton said projects like this can’t come soon enough. It’s particularly troubling at the moment because of recent evictions given to 36 residents at 465 Rupert Avenue, Upton said.

“We have 36 desperate residents that we’re trying to do what we can do and you know, 2022 – it’s just not going to help them out,” Upton said.  

“I’m excited about this building and I think the location is right,” Ward 5 Coun. Richard Bartley said.  

Housing York will have a community liaison committee to try and keep everyone who's interested well-informed about the project. The committee is made up of local business owners, immediate residents in the area and interested community members.

Upton said there’s been no problem with any of Housing York's units elsewhere in the region regarding police and crime, and that residents should not be worried.

Funding for the project is included in the region’s 20-year capital plan, with a target of 30 per cent in contributions from federal and provincial governments.

Housing York works on a mixed-market rent model, where people pay different rents based on their incomes.

“People know if you are paying the $1,400 for the one bedroom, you are helping someone else,” Housing York general manager Rick Farrell said.