Cobourg redevelopment will more than double housing capacity

By Cecilia Nasmith

A redevelopment of the nine duplexes Northumberland County owns on the southeast corner of D'Arcy and Elgin streets in Cobourg will be demolished and rebuilt to provide more than twice the housing.

Whereas 18 families can currently be accommodated in the row of duplexes, they will be replaced with four- and six-plex units that will provide 40 one-bedroom and multi-bedroom units, with a shared green space in the middle.

The plan was presented at the March county-council meeting by Community and Social Services Department manager of housing services Rebecca Carman.

The waiting list for social housing throughout the county has doubled since 2015 and continues to grow – surpassing a nine-year wait in some communities. However, since 2015, only 16 new private rental units have been built across the county.

The 18 units on Elgin Street are among the 344 the county currently owns and operates and, like most of them, are approaching 50 years of age.

Current tenants have been notified in door-to-door visits, Carman said.

Council voted to approve the redevelopment plan, and authorized staff to initiate the procurement process for the completion of pre-development work up to $300,000 – to be applied for as CMHC seed funding and/or taken from housing reserves.

The demolition and redevelopment will be done in phases, chief administrative officer Jennifer Moore said, one duplex at a time. With two of the units currently vacant, families can be relocated in preparation for a move into the new units.

“As soon as we have the CMHC seed funding, we will begin preconstruction work and look at the options,” Moore said.

“Once we have funding partners come to the table, we can start as early as six months from now.”