A Mixed Income Creative Live-Work Community
for the Capital’s Senior Arts Workers
For Immediate Release
Ottawa, May 12, 2021, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) and PAL Ottawa are pleased to confirm they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work collaboratively towards securing affordable homes for Senior Arts Workers (55+) – creating a PAL Place in OCH’s future development in the Corso Italia Station District.
The MOU refers to a block lease of 80 rental apartments and complementary creative spaces housed in/with a mid-rise apartment building, in the area of Gladstone Avenue and Rochester Street. Given the below average and fluctuating income levels of many arts workers, particularly those aged 55 and over, a minimum of 40% of the units would be rented at affordable or highly affordable rents.
Although in the early stage of development, there are already 100 interested applicants for the units –with occupancy projected between late 2023 to early 2024. OCH has retained Hobin Architecture as its prime development consultant, and planning and design are underway.
Leading their work on the partnership, PAL Ottawa Housing Co-Chairs Stephen Arbuckle and Catherine Lindquist affirmed their pleasure and pride at the announcement. Said long time board volunteer Lindquist, “This is a milestone moment in what has been a real ‘labour of love’. Together, we are Building Art & Soul.”
OCH Board Chair and Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury said: “We are excited to partner with PAL Ottawa on this joint initiative. This partnership reflects OCH’s goals of developing mixed-income communities, and supporting important groups like our Senior arts community.”
OCH Board Director and Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney said: “I’m so very pleased with this partnership. It will help us to fulfill three priorities: our affordable housing targets; a goal in the City’s Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture in Ottawa; and policies in the new Corso Italia Station District Secondary Plan just approved by Council. PAL Place will add another arts dimension to our growing creative district, along with The Gladstone Theatre, Enriched Bread Artists, GigSpace and SPAO.”
OCH CEO Stéphane Giguère shared his enthusiasm for the joint initiative. Said Giguère, “Creating an affordable artistic community will be a meaningful addition to our site, the surrounding community, and our creative capital city.”
PAL Ottawa Chair, Actor/Director Peter Haworth said, “We’re thrilled to be at this juncture today, following in the footsteps of our colleagues at PAL Toronto, Stratford and Vancouver. Arts workers play a vital role in making our cities vibrant and this is an opportunity to support them, and their continuing work, in turn – here in Canada’s Capital.”
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About Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with disabilities, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCHC houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicities and cultures. OCHC is the largest community housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s community housing portfolio, and is the second largest in Ontario. In 2021, OCHC was selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers for a fourth year in a row. For more information, please visit och-lco.ca or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
About PAL Ottawa
PAL Ottawa was incorporated in 2012 and became a registered charity in 2013. It provides senior arts workers age 55+ in Canada’s Capital with essentials such as affordable housing, personal support and links to the local arts community – so they can live, not in isolation and need and fear, but in dignity within a caring community, and:
▪ Retain their independence and well-being
▪ Maintain their creative energy
▪ Remain connected to the artistic community
PAL Ottawa is part of a cross-country network of similar organizations from Vancouver to Halifax. It is known for its exemplary ‘Supporting Cast’ program which supports arts workers in need of assistance.