Development of more affordable housing units in Timmins is underway

An old building in downtown Timmins is getting a new look. It's the "Laroplex" building at the corner of Spruce Street South and Third Avenue.

Construction on a new facade is just about done and officials with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) said work on the inside will take place over the winter months.

Thanks to some government funding, the housing development division of social services bought the building last August and the project is bringing more affordable housing spaces to the city.

"So it’s a nice little mix of residential and commercial ... which the development entity of the CDSSAB is looking for in properties in the downtown area," said Antoine Vezina, the housing development manager for the agency. "Just to have a diversity of income and to sustain the residential component of the property.”

And, he said he's keeping his fingers crossed for more funding in the future.

"The wait-list at Cochrane DSSAB ... is in the multiple hundreds ... and you know from COVID we’re seeing that affordability is in great need so ... to avoid homelessness issues and things like that we need more affordable housing units," said Vezina.

He also said the people who reside in units like these are often at risk of homelessness and said with this project, CDSSAB is playing a great role in trying to avoid that.