The City of Kingston has made up to $50,000 of seed funding available for Limestone City Co-operative Housing Inc. (LCCH) in order to move the project forward.
The funding was approved by city council on June 20.
Prior to the funding being approved, Coun. McLaren, the city’s council appointee to LCCH’s Board of Directors, described “a bit of a catch 22 situation.” In order to determine how much funding is required and apply to larger grants, the organization requires high-level documentation from professionals, such as architects. However, without money to hire those professionals to begin with, the organization was unable to apply for any substantial funding.
However, with this seed funding, Limestone City Co-operative Housing Inc. will be able to retain an architect and other professionals needed to obtain the reports required to bring the project to the next level, including architectural plans and various studies regarding feasibility. In addition to hiring professionals, the organization will also require zoning by-law amendments, which could add additional expenses to the project, making this seed funding all the more important.
The goals LCCH is working towards include a building with up to 300 mixed income units. McLaren discusses several ways in which the building will promote community, wellness, and mental health through features of the structure itself and the encouragement of community fostering activities amongst residents and other community members. LCCH also plans on integrating several environmentally friendly features into the building, including indoor vertical farming, a green wall, and other agricultural fixtures.
“These funds will give us a much needed start,” states Councillor McLaren.
Ashley Perna, another member of LCCH’s Board of Directors, seconds this statement, “Once we have more specifics about the site, including overall size and an approximation of how many folks could potentially live there, we can also start applying for larger grants. Those funds can then be used to actually break ground and start building. It isn’t a rapid fast process, but with the City’s help, we can move forward much quicker.”
Listen to the full story featuring an interview with Councillor Jeff McLaren below: