Alliance forming to save co-operative housing in Sandy Hill

Glenn Grignon

Sandy Hill is home to four housing co-operatives: Conservation Co-op, Sandy Hill Housing Co-operative, St. Georges Co-op, and the Co-op d’habitation Voisins. These co-operatives keep families in and bring diversity to Sandy Hill by offering affordable housing democratically governed by the community. Sandy Hill’s affordable housing stock has been under pressure for many years as family-unfriendly and unaffordable student-specific buildings erode the housing stock. See IMAGE, February 2018 —

Two of these co-operatives, Sandy Hill and St. Georges, located in the King Edward Precinct between Templeton Street and Laurier Avenue, have formed a strategic alliance to protect the affordable family housing for their combined 131 households. Together, the two co-ops have provided affordable family housing in Sandy Hill for over 35 years, with 30% of households having some form of university affiliations — students, student families, faculty and staff current and retired — not counting the large alumni populations.

The two co-ops lease their lands from the University of Ottawa. These leases are due to expire in two and five years. The University has yet to commit to long-term lease renewals. Representatives of the two co-ops recently met with City Councillor Mathieu Fleury and representatives of the Ottawa Community Land Trust, Action Sandy Hill, and the Co-operative Housing Association of Eastern Ontario to discuss strategy.

The strategic alliance is growing its community partnerships to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of affordable housing within Sandy Hill.

Glenn Grignon, Treasurer of the Sandy Hill Housing Co-operative, submitted this article on behalf of the Sandy Hill and St. Georges Housing Co-operatives.