Representatives from all three levels of government converged in Kingston on Friday morning to announce funding for an on-going affordable housing project.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary Adam Vaughan and provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark joined Kingston & The Islands MPP Ian Arthur, Mayor Bryan Paterson, and Denise Cummings and Mary Lynn Cousins Brame of the Kingston and Frontenac Housing Corporation (KFHC).
They met at the construction site of a mixed-income housing project at 27 Wright Crescent on Friday, July 31. The provincial and federal government announced a joint investment of $625,000 in the development. The project is being funded through municipal and shared provincial/federal capital funding contributions totaling approximately $2.5 million, along with low-interest loan financing provided under the Federal National Housing Strategy.
The 40-unit, mixed income housing project will include rent-geared to income, subsidized and market rental units. Kingston is currently struggling with short supply of affordable housing. The social housing waitlist is over 1300 names long, and the City has designated an approved camping area for unhoused people to live temporarily at Belle Park.
Mayor Paterson said that affordable housing is one of the city’s “top priorities.”
“This is an issue close to my heart,” he said. “It’s difficult, it’s challenging. We really do need to work together.” When asked about the connection between the affordable housing development and the current homeless crisis in Belle Park, he said new housing units were part of the long-term solution.
Minister Clark said that said the pandemic has increased collaboration and creative problem-solving among politicians at all levels. “I can’t think of a time in my life when I have seen such tremendous collaboration from all levels of government,” he said.
“That is the exact sort of project that leads to successes in terms of integration with the neigbourhood and growing the community,” added MPP Arthur, noting the short distance to the YMCA and other community resources. “When we’re providing supportive housing, it needs to be one part of a full picture of support that helps communities thrive,” he said.
KFHC Chair Cummings thanked representatives from all levels of government for their advocacy and support on the project. She said that Wright Crescent is an ideal location for families, as it is close to a library, schools, shopping and recreation facilities.
“It will provide homes to 40 households that need them urgently,” she said.
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2021.