Innovative partnership will deliver diverse affordable housing options for Northumberland

Cobourg, ON – September 15, 2021 – Today, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS), Northumberland County Housing Corporation (NCHC), Habitat for Humanity Northumberland (HFHN) and Northumberland County are announcing a signed Memorandum of Understanding to co-design, and jointly develop and manage, an affordable housing complex at 473 Ontario Street in Cobourg.

The Ontario Street housing project will introduce 62 new affordable housing units with a mixture of tenure and affordability types. Pre-construction activities are currently underway, with construction estimated to begin in 2023/2024.

Plans for the new build include 32 units geared to Indigenous households through the OAHS. These units will increase access to affordable housing for the urban Indigenous community and will provide residents with direct access to Indigenous supports such as First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultural teachings, Traditional Healers and other programming.

“Building relationships and key partnership in community is critical when addressing the housing crisis in our communities. This community development approach will help deliver much needed housing for Indigenous people, and the broader community, who are living in urban and rural areas of the county,” commented Cora McGuire-Cyrette, OAHS Board Chair. “Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is pleased to be the lead Indigenous organization and we look forward to continuing the work with our new partners for the benefit of the people we all serve.”

NCHC will own and operate 20 units, with a mix of Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI), affordable and attainable market rental units in the complex.

“This innovative partnership model creates opportunities to increase the availability of housing options in Northumberland County at a range of affordability, in alignment with the focus of the Northumberland County Affordable Housing Strategy,” states NCHC Board Chair Gil Brocanier. “By working together, NCHC, OAHS and HFHN will make housing attainable for more people in Northumberland, incorporating innovative programming, diverse perspectives and nuanced supports that will enhance the local housing market, better meeting the needs of our community.”

The final 10 units will be geared to Equity Partnership households through Habitat for Humanity Northumberland. HFHN’s Equity Partnership program will enable occupants of these units to build equity that can be transferred in the future to a HFHN or private market home.

“Habitat for Humanity Northumberland is honoured to be a partner in this collaborative project which will create a diversity of housing options for our community,” states Habitat for Humanity Northumberland Executive Director Meaghan Macdonald. “Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live and this project allows Habitat to work alongside other partners to provide housing solutions that span the affordable housing continuum here in Northumberland County.”

Northumberland County will be providing development services to advance this important project.

“In purchasing 473 Ontario Street in 2019, County Council earmarked this land for an innovative housing project with OAHS, NCHC and Habitat for Humanity Northumberland based on the unique housing services delivered by these organizations within our community, and their interest in contributing equity to a joint venture,” states County Warden Bob Crate. “Northumberland County is thrilled to be formalizing this partnership with the MOU announced today in order to increase access to affordable housing in our community.”

For more information about the Ontario Street housing project, visit