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Affordable housing complex approved for High Park Church

Published on

Pam Wright

Sarnia has approved a new affordable housing complex for the former High Park United Church in central Sarnia.

R4 Developments will build about 30 one-bedroom units inside the church building and in a new addition to rise beside it.

The application now goes to Lambton County council for final revisions and approvals.

Water and sewer upgrades might also be necessary before construction can begin, he added.

In a best-case scenario, the developer could begin work as early as next spring with a fall competition date, said city planner Jordan Fohkens.

The project is part of a federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation investment designed to offset rising housing costs, he said.

The average rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in Sarnia is $880, but can go as high as $1,500, according to

The new units at 1081 Brenchley St. will be priced 20% below the market rate.

Adding reasonably priced housing in that location is good news for Sarnia, Fohkens said,

“It’s very walkable and close to amenities” with green spaces and High Park School nearby, he said.

In September, 382 people were on the geared-to-income housing wait list in Lambton, with 308 of them seeking a one-bedroom unit.

Fohkens said Sarnia is also reducing a number of “onerous” regulations to stimulate the development of more apartments, including the conversion of basements into apartments.

High Park United Church opened in 1954 but closed in June because of a dwindling congregation.

Wellington Flats, currently under construction beside Vision Nursing & Rest Home, will bring another 21 units of affordable housing onto the market next year.

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