Kingston receives $7M federal grant to fund affordable housing projects

WATCH: The grant will fund future affordable housing projects within Kingston and is part of the federal government's Rapid Housing Initiative.

The city of Kingston, Ont., is getting a financial boost for more affordable housing.

The federal government has granted the city $7.4 million for upcoming housing projects.

“This is great news for Kingston. I’m delighted,” said Kingston’s mayor, Bryan Paterson, saying the grant will provide funding to house about 28 people.

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“Housing is so important just to be the bedrock of everything else that people need in order to be able to live quality lives. It’s great for our community, it’ll mean a lot,” said MP Kingston and the Islands, Mark Gerretsen.

The city of Kingston is amongst the many cities across Canada facing a housing crisis and the mayor expects this grant to make a significant difference.

“There’s a number of both city projects and other community projects that are advancing. We can look at what is the best way to divide up those dollars, and ultimately, looking for ways to be able to get maximum value. To be able to help as many people as we can, and build as many units as possible,” said Paterson.

Though this project may seem small — offering 28 units in a city with a population of nearly 150,000 people — the mayor says it won’t be the only project to address the housing crisis.

“There’s never going to be one funding announcement or one project that’s going to solve the affordable housing issue. But if you get enough of these projects going, it can absolutely make a very big difference,” explained the mayor.

The funding boost from the federal government will allow city staff to look into future projects to develop.

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This announcement is part of the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative which is investing $2.5 billion into affordable housing across the country.

The initiative was sparked by the pandemic, which made it clear that affordable housing needed to be addressed quickly.

“We launched it last year, and we got 5,000 people housed over the fall. Now we’ve gone through the budget process, and we have another $1.5 billion. We expect to replicate those results, and what it shows is that homelessness can be ended,” said Adam Vaughn, parliamentary secretary.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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