Hous­ing com­plex to open in 2019

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Local - KARENA WALTER [email protected]­a­garadailies.com 905-225-1628 | @kare­na_­s­tan­dard

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.

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Re­gional hous­ing un­der con­struc­tion at 527 Carl­ton Street.

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