More than 100 residents can now call Windsor's newest affordable housing development home.
3100 Meadowbrook Lane is the city's first affordable housing development in 30 years. Though tenants have been living in the building for several months, local MPs, MPPs and provincial and federal ministers came to officially open the building Monday.
The 145 unit development first announced in 2019 and is opening behind schedule because of some delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seventy-eight per cent of the units in the building are rented out.
"It represents more than the 145 families who are gonna have a roof over their head," said federal housing minister Sean Fraser.
"This to me represents what we can achieve nationally and we can repeat nationally if we continue to commit ourselves to making the investments that are going to support projects like this, communities like this."
Dignitaries and community housing staff took a tour of 3100 Meadowbrook Lane on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. Pictured from left are Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation CEO Cynthia Summers; Ontario housing minister Paul Calandra; WECHC chief development officer Jay Shanmugam; Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Andrew Dowie, Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk and federal housing minister Sean Fraser. (TJ Dhir/CBC)
Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk said the federal government supported the project with $34 million.
But Fraser said the project represents more than just dollars.
"This is an incredible project that we should be seeking to replicate right across the country," Fraser said. "When you … have a facility that provides affordable housing for low income families and attainable housing for middle class members of the community, it's an incredible thing."
The City of Windsor also contributed $12 million and the province kicked in $5 million.
The building has 76 affordable units and 69 rented at low market rates.
Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation CEO Cynthia Summers said about 78 per cent of the units have already been rented, and there is still a wait list for the remaining units.
Rent is capped at either 30 per cent of a tenant's income, or a low market rate. In practice, Summers said rents range from $300 to $900 for a bachelor or one-bedroom unit up to about $2,300 for a three-bedroom house at market rate.
People were given a tour and a chance to see many of the features that make the development unique.
The building uses extra-thick insulation, triple-panelled windows and a 24-hour fresh air ventilation system that staff said will both help the development emit about 45 per cent fewer emissions will helping to cut down on residents' utility costs.
Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation CEO Cynthia Summers at the grand opening of 3100 Meadowbrook Lane, Windsor's newest affordable housing development, on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (TJ Dhir/CBC)
Provincial housing minister Paul Calandra, who came into the housing portfolio recently but was previously minister of long-term care, said the project was "groundbreaking."
"They really have thought about everything. They really built a full community within this space. It's really an exciting project," Calandra said. "Look, I put [on] my former hat of long term care and I and I see some of the things that we've been talking about right here: being able to house people and to provide services right here within the community."
"This is all part of the exciting buzz that is that is Windsor right now. "
The wait list for community housing was about 6,000 residents earlier this year. Summers said with the opening of this building, she hopes it's a project that can be replicated.
"[It's] good for the environment, good for people and good for housing," said Summers. "I do think this is a model that people will jump on board and want to copy and let's do it, because we need a lot more housing."