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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 2:54 PM
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Jamesville Social Housing Redevelopment | ? | ? | Proposed

Info: Jamesville Redevelopment (PDF)

Scenario 1 – 46 CityHousing Hamilton units and 329 market residential units, with three-storey stacked townhouses and four to five storey apartments.


Scenario 2 – 46 CityHousing Hamilton units and 427 market residential units, with four-storey stacked townhouses and five, six and eight storey apartments.


Jamesville social housing units to be split between two sites

North End complex poised to become mixed-income neighbourhood with 300 to 400 market residents in addition to 46 social housing units.

By Teviah Moro | October 11, 2018

The transformation of a North End social housing complex into a mixed-income community will see half of its units transferred to another site.

It will also replace Jamesville's townhouse units with denser buildings of up to eight storeys.

"We're seeing that the mid-sized apartment is very economical," CityHousing CEO Tom Hunter said Wednesday.

The plan is to sell the 5.4-acre site and award a contract to a developer by November 2019. A request for proposals is planned for January, but a construction timeline hasn't been set yet.

CityHousing operates 91 rent-geared-to-income units at Jamesville, a nearly 50-year-old townhouse complex between James and MacNab Street North.

The plan is for 46 social housing units in a redevelopment that will include 300 to 400 private market rental or ownership residences. The mix will include stacked townhouses and apartment buildings.

The 45 other rent-geared-to-income units will be transferred to a future social housing building at Bay and Cannon streets.

The two projects are part of a larger effort to reboot the city's social housing provider, which has struggled with a big repair backlog and growing tenant wait list.

CityHousing is selling single-family and semi-detached homes to generate cash to repair its aging stock and rebuild new denser buildings.

With funding constraints and operational costs, new townhouse units would be "really challenging," Hunter said.

Instead, the strategy rests on this question: "How do we best meet the needs of our residents and balance our operations?"

Residents are slowly moving out of Jamesville. About 30 units are still occupied, Hunter said, noting many residents have preferred to move to other social housing units now rather than later. "They have a bit more control."

The 45 rent-geared-to-income units at Cannon and Bay will be part of a new six-storey building to be constructed on the site of a parking lot.

That $16.6-million project also includes 10 "moderately affordable units," a recent CityHousing report notes.

Hunter said CityHousing will able to set the rent of the 10 market units because it owns the land. "That is our property. We know what we want."

As it stands, there is no net gain in the number of social housing units between the two projects.

"That will bring us to where we need to be in terms of rebuilding the units that we currently have," said Coun. Chad Collins, who has served as president of CityHousing Hamilton.

But a second phase of the Cannon-Bay project could allow for more units on unused space on the property, he said.

"It's all but a certainty that we will end up with more, but it will happen in a phased approach."

What happens at Jamesville, which will be in private hands, depends on what agreement is reached with the yet-to-be-determined developer.

"But ideally, we'd like to push that affordability out as much as we could," Hunter said.

In recent years, Hamilton has experienced a dramatic spike in rents, sparking protests by local tenant advocacy groups.

"I have never seen a market this tight and tenants being displaced as quickly as they are right now," said Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Cooper said with every new development, 20 to 25 per cent of units should be set aside for affordable housing. "Just to try to catch up a little bit."

There have been "high hopes" for some "bold housing initiatives" to address the affordability gap, he said. "Unfortunately, it hasn't quite got there yet."

Jamesville, in the heart of the North End, is coveted territory. Property values have spiked considerably in recent years with the addition of the North End GO Station and a resurging James Street North.

The city aims to capitalize on the North End's momentum in a private consortium's plans to build 1,300 new homes at Pier 8.

The staff team behind the West Harbour project will handle the Jamesville mixed-income redevelopment, a Sept. 25 CityHousing report notes.

Jamesville also reflects the social housing provider's shift to smaller buildings that are integrated with surrounding neighbourhoods.

The idea is to "reflect a broader spectra of incomes, housing affordability, and diversity of residents," the report says.

This is the model for Roxborough Park in the east end, where CityHousing is partnering with developers to replace social housing townhomes with a mixed-income neighbourhood that includes highrises and condos.

CityHousing isn't demolishing 500 MacNab St. N., however. It has vacated the Ken Soble Tower as part of a $15-million renovation plan for seniors' housing.

On the Mountain, a social housing building with some market rent units, also budgeted at $15 million, is planned for unused space at Macassa Lodge.

In the east end, the city is spending $10 million on seniors' housing at the former City Motor Hotel site.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 6:27 PM
LRTfan LRTfan is offline
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Love this... the 8-storey options are absolutely the way to go. We can't be wasting prime land like this on squat little 3-4 storey buildings.
Also, it will help set the precedent for a nice 8-storey street wall down James, which lines up perfectly with the other new developments proposed between here and the harbour.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 7:48 PM
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Some people on Facebook and Twitter are opposing this based on the splitting of CityHousing units between here and Bay/Cannon.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 8:09 PM
TheRitsman TheRitsman is offline
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Originally Posted by HamiltonForward View Post
Some people on Facebook and Twitter are opposing this based on the splitting of CityHousing units between here and Bay/Cannon.
On which pages? I am curious because I would like to comment with a rebuttal.
McMaster University Graduate Political Science, Minor in Geography.

My goal is to improve my community, the transit we use to get around it, and the health and happiness of everyone in it, and I realize these are all interconnected.
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Old Posted Oct 11, 2018, 9:10 PM
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matt602 matt602 is offline
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oh yeah, I'm liking this.
"Above all, Hamilton must learn to think like a city, not a suburban hybrid where residents drive everywhere. What makes Hamilton interesting is the fact it's a city. The sprawl that surrounds it, which can be found all over North America, is running out of time."
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2018, 1:12 AM
LRTfan LRTfan is offline
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Originally Posted by HamiltonForward View Post
Some people on Facebook and Twitter are opposing this based on the splitting of CityHousing units between here and Bay/Cannon.

Guarantee you it's people who live in cushy well-off neighbourhoods, and not here with the constant threat of gun violence for years. Mixing social housing in amongst market housing is ABSOLUTELY the way to build a healthy city.
And selling a hunk of this land to a private builder is a no-brainer. This is very valuable land now. The city can make a fortune off of it to re-invest in more housing elsewhere. Most people on social media couldn't run a business to save their lives. They think money grows on trees and should be handed out to whoever wants some.

My only feedback is that was absolutely must go with the 8-storey version here, and I'd like to know why Bay/Cannon which is zoned for about 30 floors, would only be built at 6?? Seems a waste. A great opportunity to go taller and add more social housing units AND more market units similar to Regent Park, in a 20+ storey build.
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