Funding a struggle for community housing - Metro US

Funding a struggle for community housing

In the seven years that Lilianne Heroux has been living in her apartment at 415 MacLaren St., she’s never seen the kind of renovations that are going into the building now.

In mid-May, work began on a $2.5-million project to replace all the windows in the Ottawa Community Housing-run 23-storey tower.

“It’s going to be a lot better than what we have right now. Some of the windows don’t seal properly and water gets in when it rains,” she said.

Last year, OCH spent $800,000 to replace all the balconies in the building.

This project is one of dozens of projects worth $110 million that OCH was able to do over the past couple of years with stimulus funding, borrowed money and its own reserve funds.

However, in order to maintain its $2 billion worth of housing stock, OCH still needs $305 million over the next five years, said CEO Jo-Anne Poirier.

Poirier said they are speaking to all levels of government about sustainable long-term funding.

Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi said the provincial government will release its own 10-year, long-term affordable housing strategy, which should contain some kind of commitment to allow groups like OCH a better opportunity to plan maintenance.

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