This campaign supports the development of a prototype for an innovative affordable housing project over a parking lot in Cambridge, Ontario
What is the need in Cambridge?
Waiting lists are long and involve years of waiting for affordable housing of all types. In Cambridge, over 1,500 families are currently on the waiting list for affordable housing.
What are some benefits of affordable housing over parking lots?
Many parking lots are ideally located to dramatically grow people presence in the city cores. This provides stimulus for local business and an essential work force. Parking lot locations can help fulfill the need for mixed-use walkable neighbourhoods that help lead to a prosperous downtown community.
Why over a parking lot?
The biggest roadblock for affordable housing development in Cambridge is finding a location. An innovative approach is needed. Many parking lots are under-utilized and are candidates for affordable housing. Building an affordable housing structure above a parking lot breaks through this location roadblock while minimizing the impact on parking spaces. Supportive owners of parking lots can provide a virtual subsidy and incentive through a long-term lease at very nominal cost.
What is a prototype?
Architect-developed, the prototype will provide design visualizations with supporting documentation for affordable housing development over parking lots.
Why is a prototype needed?
First, this material will be used to assist owners of existing parking lots in Cambridge who are interested in supporting affordable housing projects. Secondly, citizens need the prototype information to better understand and support how this innovative approach can help tackle the affordable housing crisis while supporting downtown core renewal.
Who will live in these over parking lot properties?
Habitat’s model involves affordable homeownership and bridges a gap for lower income, working families by providing them with the opportunity to purchase their own Habitat home. Habitat homes help families avoid making unjust choices between rent and necessities. It accomplishes this by providing a mortgage with geared-to-income mortgage payments that the family can afford. Through a unique affordable homeownership program, Habitat offers families a hand up, empowering them to build strength, stability, and self-reliance.
Which parking lots are being considered?
Cambridge has many underutilized parking lots with potential for this concept. The prototype visualizations and supporting material being developed will form part of discussions with any organization interested in supporting affordable housing through the utilization of their Cambridge parking lot.