Corp Comm Connects

Plan to expand Armitage Gardens in Newmarket moves forward

With $51-million budget for 2024 approved, Housing York will continue planning work to double units at Eagle Street seniors housing facility from 58 to 116
Oct. 20, 2023
Joseph Quigley

Housing York is proceeding with a $51-million budget in 2024 and will ramp up planning for a new housing expansion at Armitage Gardens in Newmarket.

The board of directors approved the budget and business plan for the housing agency Oct. 19, with Housing York continuing to make progress on a total of 819 units it currently has in development across York Region. Included are plans to double the number of units at the seniors housing area of Armitage Gardens from 58 to 116, with consultations and engagement to get underway in 2024.

Director of housing operations Josh Scholten said that efforts to get projects through to construction have put the organization in a good position to secure upper-government funding when it becomes available.

“The development team is continuing to work on development concepts,” Scholten said of the housing portfolio. “We do like to set goals that are lofty and achievable.”

The budget is a four percent increase from 2023’s $49 million, with $15 million going toward capital projects for construction and repairs. Housing York currently has construction ongoing for a 97-unit facility in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Included in its 2024 business plan is work on an expansion at Armitage Gardens in Newmarket. Work is resuming next year, including an RFP for consultants for engagement and to develop preliminary master plan concepts for the entire Newmarket Health Centre site on Eagle Street. 

Planning is also continuing for an approximately 250-unit facility to come at 62 Bayview Pkwy in Newmarket.

The organization is also seeking partnerships that could create affordable housing options, with outside organizations possibly using Housing York land. Its goal is to have five new such concepts explored annually.

“This is a really important part of the business plan,” Newmarket Mayor John Taylor, “just in recognition we can’t do it all ourselves.”

Still, Taylor asked for some report back to get a sense of the outcomes of these concepts for housing and how many of them have had progress.

Scholten said the targets may be revised based on challenges, given funding constraints and construction delays. The staff report noted that with development charges no longer funding housing services due to Bill 23, alternative funding sources are needed to maintain the same pace of growth.

“While a total of 817 units are either planned, under development or completed, advancement of projects in the planning stages depends on the availability of funding from York Region and federal and provincial governments,” the report said.