Cornwall social housing build accelerated

This social housing building, built in 2010, on Sixth Street East in Cornwall, Ont. will be the general style of a new building to be built at the corner of McConnell Avenue and Ninth Street. The city has been able to accelerate its build this year and will be constructing two buildings at Ninth Street and McConnell Avenue. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Not one geared-to-income apartment building but two are being built in Cornwall this year.

The City of Cornwall will be able to accelerate its build of a social housing complex on Ninth Street this year – the first of its kind in roughly a decade.

The first building will be 33 units with 15 per cent of them accessible. The second building will add enough apartments to bring the total to 65 single bedroom units in the double building complex, plus 4,100 square foot of commercial space.

Cornwall had received nearly $1.9 million last year for the new mixed-use residential buildings on vacant land at the southwest corner of Ninth Street and McConnell Avenue.

The city planned to only proceed with the first building, estimated at $6.5-7.5 million, due to “funding limitations.”

But the Ontario government has given the city an additional $815,000 from the Social Services Relief Fund, for a total of just over $2.7 million.

“As a result, the Social & Housing Services Department determined the financial feasibility of proceeding with both phases of construction commencing in 2021,” states a city report.

The entire project will cost $11.5 million to $13.5 million.

The city has pulled nearly $1.2 million from its rainy day account to support the build. The Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation will be holding a mortgage of nearly $8 million.

City council recently awarded the building design work to IBI Group Architects of Kingston for just over $679,000.

The geared-to-income housing will be five floors and have a ground level commercial component which will house the offices of the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation.

The city estimates the building will be ready to rent by December with construction complete by June 2022.