City of Kingston to purchase Concession Street property for ‘stabilization residential housing’

Screenshot of the listing for 206 Concession Street on Realtor.ca as of Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

A property on Concession Street that once served as a union hall, graphic design house, and, more recently, ‘Unitarian Place,’ is in the process of being purchased by the City of Kingston.

Those in the offices housed in the building, which is located at 206 Concession Street, were told their leases would come to an end in the past three months, signalling the clearing out of the building so the property could be sold. Today, Friday, Apr. 28, 2023, the City of Kingston confirmed it is in the process of acquiring the property.

“The City is in the process of acquiring 206 Concession St.,” the City’s Department of Housing and Social Services said in a statement to Kingstonist.

The building will not be used as a new site for Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub (ICH), as some had speculated. Instead, the property will become home to a “permanent home for stabilization residential housing spaces,” which will be operated by Addiction and Mental Health Services – Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (AMHS-KFLA). That project was approved by City Council on Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2023, as one of three projects that are part of the City’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) funding allotment.

According to the City, stablization residential housing spaces are currently operated by AMHS-KFLA in the west end of Kingston. A total of $4,677,122 in RHI funding will be dedicated to the project, along with $1,00,000 from the City of Kingston, to “support the acquisition and conversion of this space to allow the operation of this highly impactful programming.”

“This location was identified as it meets the criteria of the operation, and the building layout has excellent retrofitting opportunity to meet the needs for this use,” the statement from Housing and Social Services continued.

“It is anticipated that the renovations will start shortly in 2023 and that the stabilization/transitional beds will be operational at the end of 2024, which is a deadline established through the Rapid Housing Initiative,” Housing and Social Services said, noting that the City is “working on securing ongoing operations” of the 218 Concession Street drop-in shelter until the end of 2024.

“The city will work with partners to look at options to relocate the 218 Concession Street drop-in shelter service in another area over the next year to ensure that the city is not congregating too many services to the vulnerable population in the same area.”

The shelter, which is known as the ‘Concession Street Warming Centre,’ is currently operated by Lion Hearts Inc. Currently, the property at 206 Concession Street is listed by Rogers & Trainor for $2,300,000.

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