County and KPR District School Board finalize property sale to advance plans for affordable housing

Blue background with black icons of houses. Graphic include NCHC and Northumberland County logos, and text that says, 'Growing safe and affordable housing in Northumberland.'
Cobourg, ON – March 15, 2024 – Northumberland County and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board are announcing today finalization of the successful negotiation and acquisition of a 14-acre parcel of land located at 699 Westwood Drive and 637 Burwash Street, in Cobourg. The sale is another significant step forward in Northumberland County’s efforts to address the pressing need for affordable and attainable housing.

The property, previously owned by the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, was declared surplus by the board and placed on the market for sale under the requirements of Ontario Regulation 444/98. Northumberland County purchased the property for $1.5M, with another $250k per developable acre of land – up to 10 acres – to be paid following environmental assessments, for a total investment at or below $4M.

"This acquisition underscores our commitment to meeting the housing needs of residents by creating the conditions to actively increase the local stock of affordable housing,” states County Warden Brian Ostrander. “By strategically acquiring this property, we are taking proactive steps to build a stronger, more resilient community. As new affordable housing projects are proposed and funding is secured, having this land at the ready will expedite progress to make more affordable and attainable housing options available.”

The negotiation process, which began in October 2023 following direction from County Council, involved planning and consultation between the County and the school board to best understand the land’s potential for housing development, along with detailed consultation with the Town of Cobourg and the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority. The future development of the 14 acres, adjacent to Westwood Park, is subject to standard zoning and environmental reviews.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Northumberland County for the sale of the Westwood Drive property at fair market value,” commented Jaine Klassen Jeninga, Chairperson, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. “This transaction not only furthers our shared goals of community development but also ensures that the land will be utilized to benefit the residents and community of Northumberland."

Northumberland County is the sole shareholder of Northumberland County Housing Corporation (NCHC) – the primary provider of affordable housing services in Northumberland. The NCHC presently manages 373 geared to income and market rate affordable housing units. The acquisition of 699 Westwood Drive represents a significant opportunity for future partnership between the County and NCHC to further address housing affordability and accessibility in Northumberland; building inclusive communities where every resident has access to safe, affordable housing options.