Two buildings, one with full market rental units, rising at site of former Satellite Motel as seen in the article by Brent Davis for The Record.
CAMBRIDGE — Rebecca Roy knows one apartment building won’t solve a deepening housing crisis.
But the addition of 55 affordable rental units — including some “deeply affordable” rent-geared-to-income units — in a building under construction on Hespeler Road will go a long way toward addressing the needs of dozens of families and individuals.
“There are folks who are so left out of participating in our local economy” when it comes to market-rate rentals or the concept of home ownership, said Roy, executive director of Housing Cambridge, a municipal non-profit housing provider.
“We’re creating more affordable housing supply in the Region of Waterloo at a time when affordable housing is such an important need in the community.”
Housing Cambridge is working with New Horizon Development Group on the two-building project at 195 Hespeler Rd., site of the former Satellite Motel.
The six-storey building closest to Hespeler Road will contain the 55 affordable one-bedroom and larger units, with ground-floor office or retail space.
At eight storeys, a second building will have 73 units renting at market rates, made up of one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den and two-bedroom suites. Amenities will include storage and parcel delivery lockers, bicycle storage, a gym, lobby lounge and property management office.
There will be a total of 143 surface and underground parking spots.
The complex will also feature geothermal heating and cooling, New Horizon’s director of client experience, Natasha Paikin, noted in an email.
While the project is currently impacted by a strike affecting more than 15,000 construction workers in several sectors across Ontario, Roy said she’s hopeful the buildings will be ready to be occupied about a year from now.
Housing Cambridge is working with several area service providers, including the Region of Waterloo, Thresholds Homes and Supports, Lutherwood, Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region and K-W Urban Native Wigwam Project, to secure apartments for clients.
Some residents in the affordable building will pay just below average market rates, while others will pay rent geared to their income, Roy said.
Once the Hespeler Road building is complete, Housing Cambridge’s total housing stock will increase to 538 townhome and apartment units across 11 sites.
Located along the planned Cambridge LRT line, the new building will provide convenient access to nearby services and amenities and a sense of community for its residents, Roy said.
“We see housing as a human right,” she said. “This is one of the ways this is realized for folks.”
Paikin said a rental registration page for the market rental building will be available later this year at nhdg.ca.