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St. John’s affordable housing grants total $60K

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary announced the grants at the regular council meeting on Monday. JUANITA MERCER/THE TELEGRAM
Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary announced the grants at the regular council meeting on Monday. JUANITA MERCER/THE TELEGRAM

Funds will build tiny home, research seniors’ housing needs and more

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Council unanimously approved seven housing catalyst grants at the regular council meeting on Monday.

The grants total $60,000.

They were given to a diverse range of groups that will use the funds to create affordable housing solutions.

The projects range from building tiny homes to conducting research on housing needs.

For example, Fundamental Inc. received a $10,000 grant to create an affordable tiny home prototype using an recycled shipping container. The group will showcase the project for a year after construction and will then donate it to Choices for Youth to be used as a housing option for someone in need.


Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary said St. John’s development regulations allow the use of such tiny homes.

“Tiny homes are permissible, certainly, in the City of St. John’s, we just haven’t had an influx of applications for that. But I think that this is exactly the kind of scenario which is kind of a good testing ground, a template, for organizations who would be interested in smaller homes like that.”

Another $10,000 grant was given to Connections for Seniors, which will research senior-specific housing and support services needs in the metro area.

Similar research will be undertaken by NL Grey Gays, who will do an assessment of the housing and care needs of the LGBTQI2S community with its $5,000 grant.

A $5,000 grant to Universal Design Network will be used to educate people, such as municipalities and developers, about universal design in building.

Power Brothers Inc. will use its $10,000 grant on design costs to make affordable housing units accessible as part of a retrofit.

Stella’s Circle Community Services will use its $10,000 grant on consultant costs to expand its housing portfolio and maximize units.

L’Arche Avalon received a $10,000 grant for a supportive housing needs assessments for older adults with intellectual disabilities.

“Leading innovation is a strategic direction in our affordable housing strategy and we are pleased to support these innovative and solutions-focused projects,” said O’Leary.

Coun. Hope Jamieson, the former council lead for housing, said it’s amazing to see how the program has grown. Jamieson said that last year the city didn’t get enough applicants to spend all of the grant money.

The grants are part of the city’s affordable housing strategy, and are a specific goal of the 2018 affordable housing strategy, a 10-year plan to address the city’s housing needs.

A selection committee composed of members of the city’s affordable housing working group and city staff reviewed the submissions.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_


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