5 vacant properties proposed for affordable housing in Hamilton

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Published December 8, 2023 at 12:31 pm

affordable housing parking lot hamilton
Photo: Google Maps

Five vacant properties, including city parking lots, could soon become sites for affordable housing projects.

The City of Hamilton is eyeing six pieces of properties for housing. The city will be seeking non-profit organizations to develop affordable housing on five properties and a sixth will be sold.

The six properties — 171 Main St. E.; 1126 Garth St., 70 Hope Ave. 9 Clarence St., 13 Lake Ave. S. and 5 Lake Ave. S. — were discussed and councillors were generally in favour at the General Issues committee this week (Dec. 6).

The city-owned parking lot at 171 Main St. E. is to be sold to in the open market. Proceeds from the sale will be used for affordable housing purposes.

Non-profit organizations would complete affordable housing projects on the five other properties.

The properties at 1126 Garth St., 70 Hope Ave. and 9 Clarence St. need to be re-zoned to permit multiple dwellings.

Two city-owned parking lots in Stoney Creek — 13 Lake Ave. S. and 5 Lake Ave. S. have been zoned for development since the early 1990s. The current parking lots on the properties are considered under-utilized.

affordable housing hamilton

The six properties are shown on a City of Hamilton map.

Most councillors agreed the housing crisis is urgent and the city needs to move quickly. The conversion of city property for affordable housing is one of the council priorities.

“We need to be ready to go and lean into this plan and address this crisis and treat it like that it is,” said Ward 1 Councillor Maureen Wilson.

However, Ward 5 Councillor Matt Francis asked for more time to consult with the community on the two properties on Lake Avenue South. Beattie said he was elected on transparency and he wants time to tell the residents.

“I know for a fact my residents don’t know about this,” he said.

The 13 Lake Ave. S. property was the site of the original Stoney Creek fire hall and has historical significance to the community, said Ward 10 Councillor Jeff Beattie.

Other councillors disagreed. Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann noted the urgency in getting more land opened up for housing. She wanted to move forward with the proposal as the city has declared a housing crisis. Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko agreed with Nann.

“I think as council we have said, housing is a crisis, parking is not a crisis,” said Danko.

Mayor Andrea Horwath also agreed with Nann and Danko.

“This is an opportunity to provide housing that is much, much needed in an area that would benefit from more residents,” said the mayor.

Horwath said council made a commitment to address lack of housing in the city and she didn’t want to delay.

But the committee voted to hold the two Stoney Creek properties until Feb. 21 to give Beattie time to consult with his community.

The other four properties will be made ready for housing projects in the coming months.

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