Halifax to use $1.8M from developer for affordable-housing fund
Armco Capital paying $1.8M to build a larger development at corner of Quinpool Road, Robie Street in Halifax
Halifax regional council agreed on Tuesday to accept $1.8 million from the developers of the Willow Tree Tower, in exchange for Armco Capital not including 20 affordable housing units in the building.
Under the agreement, the developer had the option of getting extra height in exchange for units, cash or putting utility lines underground.
Coun. Shawn Cleary said the cash offer is a good deal for the municipality.
"Under the new Centre Plan's density bonus formula, this development would actually only pay $841,000, so we're getting a million more," he said.
The money will be put into an affordable housing fund that will allow the municipality to provide grants to housing co-ops or affordable housing projects.
That is why Coun. Lindell Smith voted in favour of the cash offer.
'A perfect start for us'
"This is a perfect start for us when we look at that affordable housing fund," he said. "I believe this is a win for us."
But Coun. Tim Outhit still has doubts about an affordable housing fund.
"The vision on this should be having units in buildings, not ghettoization," said Outhit.
Coun. Waye Mason remains optimistic about the fund and pointed out the Armco tower money could be spent on a project just down the street.
"I would love to see this $1.8 million and any other money that may come from other Quinpool Road projects go into a site that we carve out of the St. Pat's High site," he said.
Only Outhit and Coun. Richard Zurawski voted against the deal.