CCOC completed construction of the Beaver Barracks project in the summer of 2012. At 254 units in five buildings it was the largest project we’ve ever undertaken, and it came in on time and on budget.
Mixed with the feelings of pride and satisfaction of completing the award-winning flagship project was a tinge of bereavement. The gear down from the frenetic pace of development was abrupt, and CCOC had no other projects ready to start. CCOC and Cahdco staff and boards shared this feeling, and used it to spark discussions about how Cahdco can be a catalyst for affordable housing growth.
Talking is good
Over the course of 2013, Cahdco re-started the defunct New Supply Committee of the Ottawa Social Housing Network. With a small annual stream of funds flowing through the Investing in Affordable Housing program, we saw an opportunity to bring together housing providers and support agencies for open dialogue, networking and partnership development. Although as businesses we are competing for funding, the goals of the dozens of participants are the same: to meet the needs of low income and vulnerable residents of our city.
Out of these discussions and others going on across the city, Cahdco helped found the Broadening the Base (BtB) initiative, and we lead the Design Circle on Impact Investing. BtB has set bold goals of catalyzing and leveraging land, property, philanthropic and development resources to support the building of 1,500 new affordable housing units over the next five years; to provide sustainable, long term and affordable accommodation for key vulnerable populations including: individuals who are chronically homeless; low income families with young children; youth at risk; Aboriginal people, and vulnerable seniors.