The City of Kingston has laid out how it will spend over $6 million from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative.
The fund was created in 2020 to address the housing crisis across the country.
Kingston is looking to build 25 affordable housing units.
Part of those 25 units will be eight tiny homes, planned to be situated on McCauley Street, near the Rideau Heights Community Centre.
“We agreed that we would do a trial, a pilot, of these eight tiny homes,” says Cathy Borowec, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region.
“They are actually eight tiny town homes. There are two blocks of four units.”
The tiny homes, built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, are being billed as affordable, with low-income tenants paying geared-to-income rates of 25 per cent of household income.
“They will be either from the Social Housing waitlist, to try and shorten that a little bit,” says Borowec.
The tiny homes are already under construction, and are being built by local high school students as part of a skilled trades co-op program.
“Those students are working on the homes,” Borowec says.
“This is the third class now, which is about to start. They will continue the work of the two previous classes.”
There is no timeline yet on when the homes will be finished and installed on McCauley Street, but the funding agreement outlines the projects must be occupied by November of 2024.
Some of the funding will also be used to expand services needed by many of those accessing and living around the city’s integrated care hub.
“Something else that we’re looking at is some money that we would actually flow through to addiction and mental health services, for a new space for them for transitional housing and stabilization beds,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
“For people that are coming out of addictions or mental health supports.”
A quarter of the new units must be dedicated to women or women with children, and to do that, the city is expanding housing inside a former long-term care home on Ridley Drive.
Council will be asked to approve the spending plans next week.