Posts tagged ‘Affordable housing’

The Rise of the Student Ghettos

Neighbourhoods around Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario are at risk of becoming student ghettos, city planners are warning.  The broader plan to improve neighbourhoods around Fanshawe and Western was approved by council in February 2008 and dubbed the near-campus neighbourhoods strategy.

Long-term residents are fleeing, leaving some streets almost entirely occupied by students and other temporary inhabitants who don’t own the homes, a change that threatens the viability of everything from local day cares to churches. The change in ownership has driven up prices of homes whose value are based on rental income, making it tougher for families to buy them. Too many properties have lost green spaces, are in poor repair and become the target of vandals. Previous efforts by city hall to limit changes have sometimes been quashed by provincial appointees on the Ontario Municipal Board.

City planners laid out proposals they hope would make a difference:

  • Reduce the maximum number of bedrooms in rental homes to three from five.
  • Require outdoor areas that can be enjoyed that are no less than three metres wide in any direction.
  • Require proponents of new single and semi-detached homes and those who want to add bedrooms to existing buildings to have their detailed plans subjected to scrutiny at city hall.



October 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Affordable Housing Forum

When designed with purpose and community-minded sensibilities, affordable housing can be the cornerstone of a vibrant neighbourhood, not a catalyst for deterioration. On May 13, 2009, Cambridge residents will get a chance to hear more about Cornerstone Initiative (an affordable housing project in Fernwood, British Columbia) at an affordable housing forum hosted by the City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Poverty Reduction Roundtable on Affordable Housing’s subcommittee and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The forum will be held at the Cambridge Centre For the Arts at 60 Dickson St. in the Toyota Room, from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m.

For more information about the affordable housing forum, the planning council’s David Palmer by phone at 519-623-1713, extension 230 or by email at .

The event is free for everyone. Maybe the City of Kitchener should attend this? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a little news story to read: Cedar Hill Debauchary) 🙂


May 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm 1 comment

Affordable Housing In London; Some of London’s best examples of good urban design

For those who live in London, when I say affordable housing I bet Kipps Lane, Pond Mills, Millbank, Huron and Limberlost all come to mind. Unfortunately those housing projects were all built a decades ago to look like cheap homes with small windows (some with bars), bland colours, having no architectural details what so ever and in return there is no pride of ownership therefor the properties are not looked after. Fast forward to 2009 and you can definitely tell that there is a different look  toaffordable housing projects in London. May I add that the following four Examples are all Infill – I think that London developers should take a good look at these examples and maybe learn that greenfield development isn’t they only answer.

Exampleone: 446 King St. – This new built apartment building is certainly very Urban, its brought up to the lot line and helps continue the street wall, it is however taller then its neighbours but those building have been around for much longer and maybe replaced in the future with something more like this. Its not just a bland box apartment building, it uses a variety of materials as well as includes large windows and even has a cornous element, probably one of the more interesting elements is the car through way to get to the parking in behind the building. I think this building really adds to the urban fabric of downtown and hope that more sites become developed like this!

Example two: 1461 Huron St. this one blew me away.. if I didn’t tell you the address you would probably think these are townhouse condos some where in Londons Northwest… They are actually right beside a church at the Corner of Huron and Sandford in East London, these town homes are also right up to the lot lines and are not rear lotted to Huron, creating a pedestrian friendly streetscape as well as adding eyes on the street and easy access to transit. Not only are they right at the lot line they have larger windows on the main floor , fo-shutters on the second level windows, front porches, expensive looking brick as well as a nice colour scheme.

Example three: Adelaide north of St-James St. (a picture will follow shortly) : this is a mixture of a walk up apartment building and a couple rows of town homes. Again this project showcases a certain quality that has been lacking on affordable housing projects..  (will edit when picture is up)

Example four: Nelson st. West of Adelaide. ( a picture will follow shortly): If you recently drove north on Adelaide and passed over the south branch of the Thames river, I’m certain that you noticed an apartment building quickly rising up on Nelson St. This is yet another Affordable housing project, and again all designed with good urban design principals in mind… The building is yet to be complete but already you can tell that the building is set up close to the street and that the parking in is the rear, also I believe that some of the ground floor units have direct access to the units from the streets ( this also improves the streetscape by adding activity and eyes on the street) I cant wait to see what the building looks like when its done.. I will post pictures when the building is finished

The quality and certain beauty of these projects should give the residence pride in living there and in return they will most like take care of these building. I could almost bet my life savings that if some of you were to drive by these projects when the sings are down and the units are all inhabited, and if you never knew that these were affordable housing ,you would never guess that these are affordable housing projects 🙂

January 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

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