Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford and David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant, along with Housing and Homelessness staff, members of the Social Services Committee from the County of Brant and the City of Brantford, along with tenants of the new building, celebrated the official opening of the newest housing development on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
In 2021, both Mayors convened the Mayors’ Housing Partnerships Task Force, with the goal to build partnerships to create more housing options in the community faster by working together to discover unique opportunities, and, make development easier.
The project is one of several deliverables set out in the Mayors’ Housing Partnerships Task Force Affordable Housing Action Plan.
“The timely and desperate need for affordable quality housing has required some out-of-the-box thinking. I congratulate our communities for working together to find innovative solutions to this growing issue. We are incredibly thankful for all those involved who believe in making a positive impact and have the vision to make new and affordable housing a reality,” said Mayor Bailey.
The new four-storey apartment building features 26 studio residential units, including 8 fully accessible units, and commercial office space available for rent on the main level. To expedite construction, builder ANC Modular Inc. used a modular build approach whereby units were built off site and then assembled at the site. This approach eliminates weather delays that impact traditional builds, limits construction noise (as most of the building occurs offsite) and minimizes disruption to neighbours.
“Modular housing has proven to be a very effective approach in helping us create affordable housing quickly for some of our most vulnerable citizens. It is clear that there is a need for affordable housing in Brantford and that need continues to be exacerbated by the tightening housing market. Our work in implementing innovative ways to create more ‘rent geared to income’ housing quickly, helps us meet our goals as a city in creating long-term, stable housing for residents. I want to thank the provincial government for contributing funding towards building these new units, without which we would not be here today,” added Mayor Davis.
Residents of the new building expressed their gratitude for the new housing development.
“I could not be happier. Coming from nothing, it was just a blessing. It’s very positive. I come from a very hard situation and here, it’s a start, and it’s a fantastic feeling to know there’s hope and I’m living it,” said Shelley, a tenant in the new building.
Andy, another tenant in the building, added, “I appreciate this place completely. I’ve had a difficult year and now my life is starting to straighten itself out so I’m really happy. The people and the staff here are great. It’s a terrific place to live and I’m very thankful.”
Linda said the timing of the development couldn’t have been any better.
“The previous residence I was staying at was a one-bedroom apartment in Paris, Ontario which I really enjoyed. I was advised by my landlord of 2 years of an unreasonable rent increase that I could not afford, ultimately leaving me without a place to live. I ended up at an emergency shelter where I stayed for eight weeks. Working with the City of Brantford’s Housing Department staff, I was able to get on a priority waiting list. This is how I ended up in my new apartment at 177 Colborne St. West. I no longer have to live in emergency shelter or worry about unreasonable rent increases,” she concluded.