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Sudbury low-income housing hit by federal program end

Some non-profit housing corporations in Sudbury are facing an uncertain future as the federal agreements that subsidize mortgages come to an end in the next few years.
In the next five years, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation agreements with non-profit housing corporations will expire. That means mortgage subsidies on low-income housing will stop. (istock)

Some non-profit housing corporations in Sudbury are facing an uncertain future as the federal agreements that subsidize mortgages come to an end in the next few years.

The City of Sudbury is telling the corporations to start planning now to avoid problems. The manager of Housing Services for Greater Sudbury said he's not sure of the number of people who will be affected or the number of housing units involved.

“It's kind of a big problem, or a big issue across the country, but the solution is in some cases, very unique,” Denis Desmeules said.

Sudbury MP Glen Thibeault has come up with a number: he says 900 families in Sudbury will be affected in the next two years.

For two families, the problem is here and now.

The CMHC agreement with the Native People of Sudbury Development Corporation has run out.

Executive director James King-Seguin said the group now owns a duplex-mortgage-free, but they still can't afford to subsidize the rent — even without the $600 monthly mortgage payment.

“The [utility and insurance] costs have … far exceeded the $600 that we'll be saving with the mortgage taken out of the equation,” he said.

The corporation will try to subsidize the rent for the two families involved, until another unit becomes available.        

Once those families leave the duplex, he said the corporation will rent out the units at market value, which is between $900 and $1,000 per month for each apartment.

What that really means is there will be fewer rent-geared-to income units in the corporation’s portfolio, King-Seguin said.

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