Whitby approves $2.5 million for residential use downtown

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Published January 30, 2024 at 3:44 pm

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Whitby has approved $2.5 millon, or 10 per cent of its housing accelerator funding, for use in building new homes in the downtown core just a week after it was announced.

The federal government launched a Housing Accelerator Fund so weeks ago and has sent cash out to several municipalities since. The funds aren’t used in the actual building of the housing units, but help grease the wheels of the approval process.

One week ago, Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull and Mayor Elizabeth Roy announced a $25 million cash infusion into the town to expedite development. The cash is used to allow electronic permits, four-unit quadplexes “as-of-right” and disposing town land to build new affordable housing. Whitby specifically is focusing on modular homes and alternative construction materials, purpose-built rentals, and encouraging higher housing density around major transit stations.

The $2.5 million the town has approved for use will come through Whitby’s Community Improvement Plan which is aimed at “supporting local businesses and stimulating new investment in Downtown Whitby.” It includes some exemptions for high-density and mixed-use residential spaces.

“Collectively, these projects will help provide residents with new housing options within walking distance of downtown businesses and amenities, along rapid transit routes – helping to create a more connected, pedestrian-friendly community,” the town explained.

“I’m very pleased that…work is already underway to create more housing options in our community,” Roy said, “Residential development in Downtown Whitby is key to ongoing revitalization efforts. It means more foot traffic and spending for downtown businesses and more housing options for people who want to live close to amenities and rapid transit.”

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