Push for more affordable housing in high rise falls short
Medallion Corporation's artist rendering of new high rise complex in London, Ont. (Supplied)
LONDON, ONT. -- City council unanimously supported rezoning the site of a proposed high rise apartment building, despite a growing chorus of calls to demand a greater number of affordable units.
Medallion Corporation intends to build a 24-storey apartment building at the corner of Dundas and Hewitt.
The development requires a ‘bonus zone’, which amounts to special permission from council to exceed the height permitted on the property.
In exchange for granting the bonus zone, Medallion would agree to include 13 affordable apartments that will be rented at 80 percent of the average market rent.
Thirteen units represents 5.3 percent of the 243 apartments to be constructed.
Housing advocates had called on council to bargain harder with the developer, including the Unity Project, which shelters Londoners experiencing homelessness on an adjacent property.
Its board of directors pushed for 25 percent of the building be affordable, a total of 60 apartments.
After speaking with the developer and Unity Project, however, the area’s ward councillor said it was unlikely that a delay to renegotiate the terms of the bonus zoning would be successful.
“I just don’t think those two sides are going to come together,” admitted Councillor Jesse Helmer. “So if we were to refer it (back for more negotiations), its very likely to head to an (LPAT) appeal.”
Council did agree to add an H-5 holding provisions, which requires a public site plan meeting to further refine the design fo the building.