YSB Riverside Hub – Site Tour

Written by Jana Bawaba

June 24, 2019

On June 6, 2019, the Cahdco team went on a site visit to the new Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) development on Riverside Drive currently under construction. The building was designed by Vandenberg & Wildeboer Architects (VWA) and is being built by McDonald Brothers Construction (MBC).

YSB is building a new four-storey affordable supportive housing development for youth ages 16 to 24. The project will provide 39 apartments to formerly homeless youth. Of the 39 units, 33 are studios and 6 are two-bedroom units to accommodate a parent with a child. YSB will offer integrated programs and services on the ground floor as part of an innovative Youth Hub model.

Building on YSB’s comprehensive expertise in all areas of youth development and support, the new supportive housing and youth hub will provide vulnerable and at-risk youth with services that include all of the key components for youth homelessness prevention, intervention, and adult transition.

Construction of the project began in June of 2018 and is expected to be completed in September of 2019.

The project is funded/financed through a combination of sources. It has received a grant through the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) Action Ottawa program, and mortgage and construction financing through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Co-Investment Fund. YSB is additionally contributing equity to the project through a capital fundraising campaign and via soliciting trade donations.

Cahdco has been working with YSB on this project since 2015. Cahdco has been the project manager on the YSB Riverside project throughout feasibility and design/development, and continues in its role during construction. Cahdco’s role as project manager involves a variety of tasks and responsibilities, including engaging and managing the project consultant team, coordinating funding/financing applications, and monitoring construction progress and cash flow, among other tasks. Once construction is complete, Cahdco will assist with the warranty phase of the project.

The project has face some challenges over the past few years, such as not being successful in its first funding application, but the team continued to work to progress the project. I was brought on to work on the project with Anna when I joined Cahdco in June of 2018 – right as the team was preparing to begin construction. I think it’s admirable how hard the team has worked to get the project to this stage, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Watching the project getting built and becoming a reality is extremely exciting. It seems to look different every single week, and will soon be called home by 39 households. The team has done an incredible job creating a development that will undoubtedly improve the lives of its future residents and others who will be able to access services provided by YSB at a new location on Riverside Drive.

Jana Bawaba

Development Project Coordinator

June 24, 2019