Housing complex to open in 2019
Construction of the first affordable housing complex in St. Catharines in 40 years is going well but is a bit behind schedule.
The complex at 527 Carlton Street was originally supposed to open at the end of this year, but Mayor Walter Sendzik said it’s now scheduled to open in March.
The delay is due to a lack of dry wallers and other tradespeople, Sendzik said Friday during his monthly online video chat #AskSendzik at The Standard.
“We’ve got to get our kids, our young sons and daughters, get them to understand that trades is a great career,” Sendzik said. “Plumbing, electrical, dry walling, whatever it is, there’s so much opportunity out there.”
Sendzik, who’s been on the Niagara Regional Housing board of directors this past term, said it seems society has directed so many young people towards university that it’s created a significant gap in apprentice programs.
“It materializes when you look at a building like this and it’s fallen a couple months behind schedule because there’s not enough dry wallers, there’s not enough plumbers, there’s not enough there to make sure that project stays on time,” he said.
“You talk to more and more developers, more and more builders in our community and they’re saying the same thing. We can’t find enough of the people to actually keep these projects on time and that has been the case of the last number of years. So hopefully younger people see this as an opportunity.”
The Carlton Street housing complex is being built to help address the huge waiting list for social housing in Niagara.
There are more than 5,000 households on a centralized waiting list for affordable housing for all ages and demographics.
Niagara Regional Housing has said St. Catharines has one of the highest needs in Niagara with a waiting period of approximately 12 years for a one-bedroom unit.
The Carlton Street building will have 85 units, 64 of which will be one-bedroom units, 13 accessible units and eight twobedrooms.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity in our community,” Sendzik said.
Sendzik addressed other issues during the video chat, including the new regional council, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo and his own inauguration this week.
The whole video chat can be seen on The Standard’s website at www.stcatharines.ca.
Readers can send questions in for next month’s video chat by Tweeting with the hashtag #AskSendzik.
Regional housing under construction at 527 Carlton Street.