Town staff explain decision to support Balder rental development after affordable units questioned

Balder building

This is an artistic rendition of the rental apartment building at University Avenue and William Street, owned by Balder Corporation.

The show:

The full interview with bonus material:

A new rental unit built in Cobourg promised to provide affordable housing. The developer, Balder Corporation, constructed 71 units at the corner of William Street and University Avenue. It received a $15 million loan from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation or CMHC. For this, it would provide 15 affordable units. It also received support from the Cobourg council from its Community Improvement Program or CIP. This offers numerous incentives, including grants, tax breaks, and a reduction of fees. Its purpose is to help create affordable housing. Over three years, the town has spent $540,000 on the program.,

Recently, Balder was in the spotlight at the town council. Concerns were raised over the number of affordable units. Balder met its affordable housing criteria of 15 units under the CMHC guidelines. However, town staff said the developer only met its criteria for four units under the town’s definition of affordable housing. The town’s criteria are different than CMHC’s.

In this interview, you will hear Director of Planning Anne Taylor Scott and Treasurer Ian Davey explain what happened, why there are differences, and how the council decided to approve the CIP despite the difference.

To get the full story from the perspective of Balder Corporation, you can go to the March 20 Regular Council meeting video on the town’s website to watch a delegation of representatives from the company.

Originally aired: March 31, 2023

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