The Ontario government is providing $200,000 and support for the transfer of an acre of local land to help create up to 25 tiny homes for military veterans experiencing homelessness.
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries stopped in Kingston to make the announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.
“Our Veterans, who stepped up to serve our country deserve a place to call home,” Clark said. “These men and women were there when we needed them, and now it’s our turn to provide the support they deserve. Through this innovative housing solution our government is helping to improve the quality of life of some of Canada’s military heroes.”
The Ontario government is working in partnership with the Homes For Heroes Foundation and the City of Kingston to convert a portion of the Kingston Provincial Campus into a veterans’ village. The Kingston Provincial Campus is the area bounded by King St West, Lake Ontario, Portsmouth Village and Lake Ontario Park.
Tiny homes are small, private, self-contained residential units built for year-round use. The veterans’ village will be constructed from prefabricated modular housing. Each tiny home will provide transitional housing for one veteran in a private unit that includes a kitchen, living room, bathroom and sleeping area.
“We’re honoured to be the first city in Ontario to work with Homes For Heroes and the Ontario government to support our Veterans through the creation of this innovative project,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Veterans have given so much to our country and we’re looking forward to playing a role in providing stable supportive housing, as these men and women look to reintegrate into our community.”
“The Homes For Heroes program was created with direct input from our Canadian veterans,” said David Howard, President of the Homes For Heroes Foundation. “The program offers housing for veterans who are having a difficult time transitioning and provides the necessary support services to help them successfully reintegrate.”
Howard said he is thankful to have the support of the Province of Ontario and the City of Kingston. “Both groups have shown incredible leadership, dedication, and support to end the issue of veteran homelessness,” he said. “Together we are committed to helping those that once stood on guard for Canada.”
The provincial government said The Homes For Heroes project is an example of how Ontario is helping to turn unused provincial properties into affordable housing for those in need. The province said it will continue to address the housing crisis with innovation, creativity and new partnerships.
Homes for Heroes estimates that there are as many as 5,000 military veterans in Canada experiencing homelessness.