When it is fully recovered from a late April fire, a Barrie apartment complex will look a “Little” bigger. Monday night’s council meeting saw the conditional approval of a $75,000 grant to the Barrie Housing Corp. to help add a fourth floor to 100 Little Avenue. This would bring another eleven affordable housing units to the city’s compliment, after losing 23 to a fire in late April.
A fire tore through the then-three storey structure late in the evening of April 23rd, displacing over 70 residents. Mayor Jeff Lehman says adding a fourth floor “will add eleven affordable housing units out of a very difficult situation.”
The money is not to pay for construction costs directly, but rather help cover annual costs on a more substantial insured loan. Barrie Housing is seeking a $2.5 million dollar loan from a private interest, but after crunching the numbers, will come up short on annual payments until 2021. That’s when the social housing corporation will have finished paying an unrelated mortgage bill and will then have the annual funds required to pay back the loan.
The Barrie Housing Corp. has also applied for a recently-created grant through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, but have been told by the CMHC the program is a competitive one with a limited budget. If the grant money is approved, the city’s grant wouldn’t be required.
Insurance costs will cover the reconstruction of the original 23 units. Construction of the new addition would be completed by the end of 2019 and be ready for folks to call home by January of the following year.