Despite the rainy weather, representatives from the City of Kingston, the Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation (KFHC), and Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Gerretsen gathered at 1316 Princess Street this morning, Tuesday, Jul. 5, 2022, to break ground on one of the city’s largest mixed-income housing projects.
The housing project will include 92 units: 52 non-market units to support residents with rents ranging from rent-geared-to-income levels to 80 per cent of the average market rent, and 40 market housing units, according to a City of Kingston documents. The project is being developed on land purchased by the City to support the development and construction of more affordable housing across the city, a strategic priority of City, the City of Kingston said in a press release.
Mayor Bryan Paterson shared his appreciation for those gathered for the occasion, despite the rain, and spoke about the big picture the groundbreaking represents. “The reason why this is so exciting is that we are about to break ground on one of the largest affordable housing projects that the City has ever been involved with. I think this is a huge moment. And I think it’s a testament to, first of all, the critical need for more affordable housing in our community. And I think that we all recognize and appreciate that,” he said. “I think it’s also a testament to a commitment among all levels of government, and certainly everyone on City Council and the community.”
“It’s so exciting after so many years to be able to partner together to make this happen. And when it comes to housing, nobody can solve the housing issue on their own. It really is a matter of partnership. And so I certainly want to recognize the federal government stepping forward and partnering with us through the national housing strategy,” Paterson continued, acknowleding the advocacy of MP Mark Garretson and KFHC’s ability to put the funding to work quickly as being integral to seeing the project begin.
According to the City, in addition to the land provided by the City, the project is being developed with a substantial capital funding contribution from the City of Kingston – one of the City’s largest investments to date in an affordable housing project.
“I can say with some certainty we would not be standing here today but for the remarkable commitment demonstrated by our municipal and federal governments,” stated Denise Cumming, Board Chair for KFHC. “We’re thrilled that the City of Kingston named this project as a strategic priority, and provided both the grant and a significant low-interest loan to make this building happen.”
“The Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation is pleased to break ground on our latest project ,which is the largest affordable housing project developed in Kingston in some time,” added Mary Lynn Cousins-Brame, CEO of KFHC. “The mixed-income housing model that’s been established at previous KFHC projects, such as 40 Cliff Crescent, 645 Brock Street, and 27 Wright Crescent has proven to work well and provides a sustainable approach to the development of new community housing.”
In addition to the 92-unit building being developed by the KFHC, Kingston Co-Operative Homes Inc. is preparing to construct a 38-unit affordable housing project adjacent to this site, the City stated.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said MP Gerretsen. “Our government continues to work with our provincial partners, including the Government of Ontario, to find ways to create more affordable homes that meet the needs of Canadians, including right here in Kingston. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”
According to KFHC, the building at 1316 Princess Street is expected to be completed in July 2024.
With files from Josie Vallier.