Hope for affordable housing project dampened after flood

805 Ridley Drive as seen on Google Street View

A flood has dampened hope for a short-term solution to the city’s homelessness problem amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The flood happened earlier this year at the former Fairfield West retirement home at 805 Ridley Drive, which more recently has been a planned affordable housing facility. The site was purchased by the City of Kingston as part of the City’s pandemic response as well as a means to provide for longer-term affordable housing.

“The short-term utilization of the facility was intended to support self-isolation for symptomatic homelessness system clients and overflow shelter capacity,” the City’s Housing and Social Services told the Kingstonist. 

“In the winter a water pipe broke in the building damaging one wing of the facility,” they added, noting the other wing was not impacted by the flood. 

The flood remediation, which was completed by Environmentall Contracting Services, cost $53,200, according to a report heading to city council on Mar. 23, 2021.

In the meantime, the City said it is currently administering a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit proposals from “organizations interested in providing supportive, affordable housing over the long-term.”

Council agreed to buy the property back in October at a cost of $2,240,000, with hopes of being up and running at some point this year.

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfield Manor West location was used by the City as a self-isolation centre for Kingston’s vulnerable population.

City council will have the final say on the renovations to the flooded property at a future meeting. Should residents have additional concerns or questions, they can contact the city at [email protected]

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