During Smiths Falls’ Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday evening, Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris updated the committee on the status of 1430 Robinson Avenue. This property, which belonged to the town, was declared surplus in March 2022. In July, council voted to give the land to Carebridge Community Support for the creation of affordable housing.
“In July, Committee directed staff to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Carebridge,” CAO Morris explained, “to arrange a transfer title of the land once the building has been built. This is a gifting of the land, provided they line up their ducks, so to speak. This would involve a minimum of 30 affordable units.”
Morris noted that Carebridge is currently focused on building an affordable housing apartment block at 44 Chambers St, but they believe they would have Site Plan Approval by September 2024.
“If they don’t meet these deadlines, the town would maintain ownership of the property: the title would not transfer until they’re ready to move ahead,” explained Morris.
“Thirty more affordable units is something our town needs very much, and Carebridge is a proven reliable partner,” commented Councilor Lorraine Allen, “I’m looking forward to seeing that.”
Councilor Wendy Alford thanked staff for their tireless efforts in working toward this point. “This has been going on since we took office in 2018: there were attempts to sell it twice, those failed; in March we were able to declare it surplus so it could be available. Thank you to the staff for negotiating something with Carebridge that will hopefully come to fruition sooner than later. This council has done what it could to move forward in places like Robinson Ave and Chambers St.”
Councilor Jay Brennan added his voice of support to this action. “I support this as well. Municipalities have a role to play; we have stepped up, and more than once. We’ve done our part, and I’ve got to hope that the province will respect that.
Council was unanimous in moving forward with staff’s recommendation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Carebridge.