Orleans church wants to convert property to affordable housing units

An Orléans church wants to give back to the community by developing its property into an affordable housing complex. 

The plan still needs city approval, but would include 81 residential units.

The proposed site, which is currently a green field, is at 360 Kennedy Lane East, next to the Queenswood United Church. 

Kindred Works CEO, Tim Blair, wants to develop the area and build 81 residential units.

“It would involve housing 160 residents in a combination of townhomes and three-storey walk ups that allow front doors and backyards,” said Blair.

Blair says a third of the units would be below market rent to help address the affordable housing crisis. 

“We would love to have shovels in the ground this fall,” he said. “We are really waiting right now on the city and the planning approval process that needs to occur, but we know that we are in a housing crisis so every time or every delay is a delay in getting people homes that they need.”

The land is the property of the Queenswood United Church and still has to be rezoned for residential use.

“We are transferring ownership over to the project itself,” said Rosemarie MacLennan, the property development committee chair for the church.

MacLennan says the church would stay as a tenant.

“We will continue as a congregation here as we need space for worship,” she said. “We will also have the space for community groups.”

Some neighbours have concerns with the proposed project.

"I realize it’s mostly their property, but at the end of the day green space is required around here and we don’t have enough of it,” said Jeff Paul, who lives in the area.

“The end result is we need it and we don’t have enough parking," he said.

The project is still in the municipal approval process and the developer says a date for council to vote on the project hasn’t been set. 

Blair says they are working on seven other similar projects involving church property and affordable housing in cities across Canada.