Addressing the homelessness issue for military Veterans, the Ontario government announced help of $2 million to build up to 25 tiny homes as part of a Veterans’ Village in Kingston.
In an announcement in Kingston today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced support from the province, including investment of the transfer of provincially-owned land and funding for planning and off-site servicing. The province is working with the Home For Heroes Foundation and the City of Kingston to build tiny homes for homeless military veterans.
The announcement comes after the City of Kingston, the province, and Home for Heroes committed to going forward with the project in 2020. The initial announcement came with $200,000 of funding.
“Ontario owes a debt of gratitude to our Veterans, and our government believes that everyone – especially those whose lives have been in the service of others – should have a place to call home,” Minister Clarke said.
The location of the Village is at the southeast corner of King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue. The homes will be constructed from prefabricated modular housing, providing transitional housing for one Veteran and be a private self-contained unit that includes a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and sleeping area.
Mayor Bryan Paterson was also present at the occasion and explained how he is honored to host the third Veterans’ Village host city. The first two of the Villages are located in Calgary and Edmonton, respectively.
“We’re honored to be the first city in Ontario considered for a project that will create up to 25 homes for military veterans experiencing homelessness,” he said.
From Home for Heroes, David Howard, CEO and President explained how the project was planned last year and appreciated the provincial government and City of Kingston and staff for the help in the project.
“It takes a village to build a Village. Today we celebrate this. We have brought together support from the Ontario government, the City of Kingston, along with local businesses, social groups, and individual caring citizens to help make this project a reality in the great City of Kingston,” Howard said
“We are very grateful for the support and look forward to opening our third village in Kingston by the end of next year.”
To speed up the process to ensure that Veterans can be housed as quickly as possible, the Minister issued a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) on November 10, 2021.
The MZO allows for residential and complementary uses, such as a community hall that will serve as a resource center available to the Veteran tenants for social gatherings and peer-to-peer support.
According to an estimate shared by Homes For Heroes, approximately 5,000 military Veterans in Canada are experiencing homelessness.