Ministry of Infrastructure
Province Using Surplus Property to Support Strong and Vibrant Communities
Ottawa, ON – April 26, 2018
The province is prioritizing the needs of Ontarians and focusing on community interests when it comes to decisions about the future uses of closed, surplus or unused publicly owned properties.
Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, was joined by Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier and Karen Pitre, Premier’s Special Advisor on Community Hubs, in Ottawa to announce a new comprehensive Social Purpose Real Estate Strategy that requires the needs of local communities to be considered when it comes to the disposition, acquisition and use of public properties and infrastructure planning.
The province is supporting the development of community hubs through the following:
- The Community Hubs Resource Network provides resources and tools relevant to those planning for or working in a community hub.
- A new application-based Facilitation Program that will advance community capacity building, help convene and bring local players together, and deliver services that support the development and operation of sustainable community hubs.
- An expanded Surplus Property Transition Initiative, which allows for adequate time for local champions to develop hub proposals for surplus public properties by providing funding to cover holding costs while business plans to acquire the surplus property are developed.
- A new second stage of the Surplus Property Transition Initiative that will also allow community organizations to apply for funding to assist with acquisition or long-term lease of surplus provincial, school board or hospital properties.
Repurposing public properties provides many benefits for communities, including:
- More long-term care homes and seniors’ housing for the aging population
- Affordable housing that will give more people in Ontario a place to call home
- Recreational and support programs to maintain the health and wellbeing of all family members
- Youth programming and child care services to take the pressure off working parents
- Trade and innovation centres to address education training and skilled trades barriers.
Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
Listen to the audio below: