Norfolk Inn: What You Need to Know

About Indwell

  • A Christian registered charity creating affordable housing communities
  • Operating in four Ontario communities: Hamilton, Woodstock (Oxford County), Simcoe (Norfolk County), London
  • Supports over 550 tenants across these communities
  • Provides deep affordability for tenants whose incomes are limited due to mental or physical health needs, age, or other circumstances

about norfolk inn

  • Two-storey derelict nightclub and rooming house complex

  • Long-standing source of negative activities impacting downtown Simcoe

  • In need of complete gutting and retrofitting to meet current code and health standards

  • Former owner failed to maintain the building, pay property tax, or comply with bylaw standards

About supportive housing at Norfolk Inn

  • Indwell-run community development and housing supports for tenants

  • One-on-one, group, and peer support, with in-house on-call staff access

  • Proactive, connecting with community resources

  • Active wellness promotion, including physical and mental health and addiction support

  • Strategic focus on reducing use of emergency services and crisis interventions

  • Skills development, spiritual growth, and social/community contributions

About the economic benefits of Norfolk Inn transformation

  • Spurring revitalization in downtown Simcoe
  • Every $10 spent on supported affordable housing yields $20.17 in cost savings related to emergency services, the justice system, shelters, and other social supports [1]
  • 40+ annual construction jobs are created on each Indwell project [2]
  • Five new full-time Indwell employees working in Simcoe

About the need for affordable housing in Norfolk County

  • One-bedroom apartments in Norfolk County now regularly rent for over $1,000/month
  • Single people face the highest barriers to finding affordable rents, with very low vacancy rates
  • 54 people experience homelessness each night in the County [3]
  • 70% of homeless people have more than two health problems contributing to their situation [3]

About potential funding for the Norfolk Inn Revitalization

Capital Costs:

The National Housing Strategy Co-Investment Fund can provide grants up to 40% of a supported housing project, and lower-interest financing for long term affordability.

  • Indwell will apply for $6.8 million from CMHC
  • The Co-Investment Fund requires municipal financial investment to qualify

A federal program to improve accessibility to publicly accessible buildings, including multi-residential and commercial properties.

  • Indwell has utilized this funding on two projects

A Federal/Provincial affordable housing program.

  • Indwell has utilized this municipally-administered program for numerous projects

A Provincial/Federal affordable housing program.

    • A successor program to IAH, this new municipally-administered program has potential for capital investment

A Federal Fund to assist communities of fewer than 100,000 people.

Financing for purchase and potentially construction costs.

Addressing local community needs.

An application has been submitted.

Supported Hambleton Hall development. An application for Norfolk Inn has  been submitted.

Rotary, Lions, 100 Women and 100 Men clubs, etc.

Indwell has already received commitments of $276,226.

Frequently Asked Questions

Indwell is a registered non-profit charity founded in 1974, governed by a volunteer board of directors. Our CRA charitable number is 131295198RR0001. All financial resources must be used for charitable activities.

Indwell’s financial statements record all its assets, including real estate that is owned by the charity. Similar to farmers, most of our assets are “non-liquid,” meaning they cannot easily be converted to cash because our buildings provide the homes for our tenants to live in – and providing tenants with affordable, supported housing is Indwell’s core charitable purpose. Much of our income comes as capital grants that must be used for specific capital building projects; this income is therefore matched by expenses that translate to equity over time.

Revitalizing the Norfolk Inn to become an Indwell program is a complex and expensive project. A Norfolk County annual investment grant will help cover operating expenses, because rents will be set at roughly $500/month – roughly 1/3 of the actual operating costs. This investment:

  • offsets costs otherwise likely to be spent delivering emergency services to people experiencing homelessness and addictions
  • leverages potential investment of $6.7 million from CMHC for new affordable housing
  • Promotes job creation in Norfolk County
    • 40+ jobs during the construction phase
    • 5 permanent long-term positions at Indwell
    • up to 40 new jobs downtown in the new commercial space

1. Make a donation. Community donors have already committed $276,226 in donations towards the Norfolk Inn redevelopment – that’s already 25% of our $1 million donation target! All donations over $10 will receive a charitable tax receipt.

2. Let your County Councillor, MPP, and MP know that you support transforming the Norfolk Inn into supported affordable housing, spurring economic and community development at the same time.

Hambleton Hall opened in 2016, with 35 permanent apartments and five units for urgent access through the County’s emergency housing program. People who live at Hambleton Hall live well in an independent setting, and contribute to the community’s vitality.

Norfolk Inn will be a similar program, with tenants supported by a staff team with a broader range of skills and experience. We know that addiction issues are impacting many people in Norfolk County, so we anticipate needing to support many tenants towards recovery and wellness. There will be additional program supports for addressing financial literacy, food security, and other health-promoting activities.


1. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), 2012

2. Canadian Home Builders Association, 2000

3. Homelessness enumeration study, Haldimand-Norfolk, May 2019

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