Thursday, April 8, 2010
Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) owns a number of apartment buildings and other units in the centretown and centretown-west areas. They acquired this small apartment building on Primrose at Arthur Street during the winter. It contains small bachelor units. CCOC intends to upgrade the building with federal grants, including new windows, new insulated roof, and other energy upgrades.
As neighborhoods in the west side undergo gentrification, many rental units are lost. Mostly these are inside homes, which were converted or subdivided into smaller units. These converted units deliver affordable units, but also accelerate the wear and tear on elderly wood frame housing, and are a factor in neighborhood deterioration. Yes, there are many quality home conversions into multiple units ... but also many shoddy and neglected ones. New construction tends to be more expensive than what it replaces, squeezing out the lower income residents of an area.
Personally, I am happy to see new units built at market rates. I am happy to see deteriorated housing stock restored with a sensitive eye, even if this dislodges tennants. I am happy to see quality house conversions. I am delighted to see CCOC preserving a stock of lower-priced rental units. I welcome new assisted housing units such as the 42 unit apartment building Cornerstone now has under construction at the former Desjardins IGA/Loeb site on Booth at Eccles. I think the City should be busting its @ss to develop the parking lot at Cambridge and Somerset into parking below/affordable housing above. It takes all types of residents and housing forms to make a good neighborhood.