A ceremony was held Friday to mark the completion of a new affordable housing project in Kingston.
Politicians gathered at the housing complex at 27 Wright Crescent where more than half of the 40-unit facility will offer lower rents to tenants.
The Wright Crescent project includes 10 rent-geared-to-income units, 13 affordable housing units which are below market rent and the remaining 17 units will go for market rents. It’s called “mixed income housing”
“It’s a reflection of our community so we want to build something that is a true reflection and it eliminates the stigma and it allows us to fit into the community very well,” said Mary Lynn Cousins Brame, executive director of Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation.
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, who was one of the politicians on hand for the opening and following tour, feels that mixed income housing is working.
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“You walk through that building, you’d never know that it’s affordable housing or that there is a different mix there,” said Paterson. “And I think that’s exactly the model that we’re looking for. That is definitely the best practice.”
Maria Barbosa helped with the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“A beautiful building, nice, clean, quiet and I find it’s really safe,” said Barbosa, a tenant.
It’s no secret the need for more affordable housing is there and a project like 27 Wright Crescent doesn’t happen without plenty of teamwork, and that includes from all three levels of government.
“And this is what we’re seeing come to fruition here,” said Mark Gerretsen, member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. “The federal government (is) putting in just over $5 million through various different funding streams with the province and the city who contributed the land. That’s how we can build projects like this.”
Cousins Brame agrees, saying without the partnerships, KFHC won’t be able to build anything. “Basically we’re non profit,” Cousins Brame said, “and we wouldn’t have the equity to be able to build buildings like 27 Wright.”
Increasing housing affordability is one of Kingston city council’s strategic priorities.