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Ontario Helps Build Homes for Military Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

CONRAD SPEZOWKA, Communications Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Ontario government is providing nearly $2 million to help build up to 25 tiny homes, as part of a Veterans’ Village, for military Veterans experiencing homelessness. This investment includes the transfer of provincially-owned land and funding for planning and off-site servicing.

The province is working in partnership with the Homes For Heroes Foundation and the City of Kingston to convert one-and-a-half acres of land into a Veterans’ Village. Located on the south-east corner of King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue, the Veterans’ Village will be constructed from prefabricated modular housing. Each tiny home will provide transitional housing for one Veteran and be a private self-contained unit which includes a kitchen, living room, bathroom and sleeping area.

“Ontario owes a debt of gratitude to our Veterans, and our government believes, everyone, especially those whose lives have been in the service of others, should have a place to call home,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates our government’s commitment to stand up for our Veterans, and use every resource at our disposal to ensure they can access the housing they need and deserve.”

“Congratulations to Homes For Heroes for making this important project a reality,” stated Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston. “We’re honoured to be the first city in Ontario considered for a project [which] will create up to 25 homes for military Veterans experiencing homelessness. The last year was spent laying the groundwork necessary to push this development forward. We’re now one step closer to providing these brave men and women, people who dedicated their lives to the service of our country, with safe and secure housing.”

“We are grateful to have the support of the Ontario government partnering in our mission to end Veteran homelessness. Minister Clark and his team have been amazing to work with and they have truly shown their appreciation and compassion for those [who] have served and continue to serve,” said David Howard, CEO and President, Homes for Heroes Foundation. “Moving forward with building our third Veterans’ Village is due to the hard work of Ontario government staff, the team at the City of Kingston, our Kingston volunteer committee, and our staff. It takes a Village to build a Village.”

To speed up the zoning process, so Veterans can be housed as quickly as possible, the Minister issued a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) on November 10, 2021, allowing for residential and complementary uses of the site. Such uses as a community hall which will serve as a resource centre available to the Veteran tenants for social gatherings and peer-to-peer support. Without the MZO, it could take years for the site to be rezoned through a zoning by-law amendment and for construction of the Veterans’ Village to begin.

This Veterans’ Village is an example of how Ontario is helping to turn underutilized provincially-owned properties into affordable housing through More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan. It is also a testament to the provincial government’s leadership in bringing public and non-profit sectors together, to deliver much needed housing for Ontario’s heroes.

As announced in Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement, the government is getting shovels in the ground for housing, including the Veterans’ village, as well as other key community infrastructure, to build a better and brighter future for the people of Ontario.

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