Ottawa loans $55.7 million to Old Bronte housing project in Oakville’s Palermo Village


Published November 16, 2023 at 1:26 pm

Old Bronte Project
Old Bronte Project in Palermo Village in Oakville

The Old Bronte housing project in Oakville’s Palermo Village received a $55.7 million low-interest loan from Ottawa Thursday to build 131 rental homes, part of the federal government’s 10-year, $82 billion National Housing Strategy plan “to give more Canadians a place to call home.”

The funding, which is fully repayable, will come through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and is in addition to $6.25 million in grant funding from Halton Region.

“Low cost loans get projects off the shelf and shovels in the ground,” said Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Sean Fraser, who added Ottawa is “unlocking more than $4 billion in loans” this week to help build nearly 12,000 new apartments across Canada. “We need to boost housing supply, this is why we are making strategic investments, through programs like the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, to build much-needed rental units across the country.”

“All Canadians deserve a safe place to build and live their lives in, and we will ensure this becomes a reality.”

The eight-storey apartment building is being constructed west of downtown by One Urban in a developing residential neighbourhood close to schools, a hospital and other amenities. The building will include 29 accessible homes and all common areas have also been designed to be accessible.

The project, which is expected to be completed next spring, emphasizes environmental sustainability through the implementation of geothermal heating and cooling and through reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is forecasted to save two million liters of water annually, cut hydro energy use by 47.5 per cent, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more 60 per cent.

Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff said financial incentives are needed to expedite new rental construction because Canada’s construction of rental homes has not kept pace with the country’s growing cities and population “for decades,” leading to a decline in the existing and aging rental stock.

“Too many Canadians are struggling to find somewhere to rent and to call home… (and) the federal government is working to reverse this trend,” Damoff said. “We are incentivizing the development of much-needed rental units, including these 131 right here in Oakville.”

Oakville MP Anita Anand was also at the announcement and said “purpose-built rentals” like the Old Bronte project “are an essential part of the solution.”

Earlier this week Fraser was in Calgary announcing $228 million in incentives through the Housing Accelerator Fund to build 6,800 housing units over the next three years.

The Fund incentivizes municipalities to speed up new housing builds by cutting red tape and updating their zoning and permit systems, with Ottawa already committed to build about 21,000 homes over the next three years (nearly 170,000 homes over the next ten) in eight communities.

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