Proposal would see Fredericton motel converted to affordable housing

·2 min read

The City Motel in Fredericton could be the site of a new affordable housing project in the capital city.

The John Howard Society is applying for federal money through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's rapid housing initiative that would allow it to buy the motel and renovate it for use as housing units.

It presented the plan this month to Fredericton city council, which gave its support. Council also waived development fees for the project and promised bus passes for tenants.

"It's very positive," said Coun. Kate Rogers, chair of the city's affordable housing committee, "because it is close to services, it is centrally located, it is on a bus route." Rogers said the project proposed for corner of Regent and Prospect streets would offer more help and support for people who need it.

"Even if we had housing for everyone, there are some that just need a little bit more support and a little bit more day-to-day assistance. And that's the sort of housing that this is addressing."

In its proposal to council, the John Howard Society said it would also require provincial funding to help operate the housing project once it opened.

Across the country, $1 billion is available for developments through the rapid housing initiative. The aim is to have affordable housing units built by the end of 2021.

Rogers said the project would bring together the private and public sectors and different levels of government.

"There's a general understanding now in housing that all players have to be at the table," she said. "Everyone has a role to play. And I think that we're refining that all of the applications, all of the programs, are sort of refining criteria as that understanding develops, that really, everybody needs to be there. We all have a role to play."

Coun. Eric Price, a co-owner of the City Motel, declined to comment.

The John Howard Society didn't respond to requests for an interview.