SASKATOON — An 18-bedroom transitional housing project to serve single males, who are disproportionately represented in the homeless population, is expected to be ready for Christmas
Construction is underway for the Cress Housing Corporation’s rapid housing project that is funded under the National Housing Strategy by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and the City of Saskatoon.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Annie Koutrakis, STC Chief Mark Arcand, Elders Frank and Barb Badger and Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark and other representatives from the city were present when the announcement was made during a ceremony last Monday, Aug. 22.
CHC is the STC’s affordable housing arm and got the services of local contractor 3twenty Modular to design and build an 18-bedroom transitional housing project that will be located at 115 Columbian Place in Saskatoon. In keeping with 3twenty’s modular process, the building is built off-site, and will be installed, commissioned and turned over to STC just in time for Christmas.
“The two-story, 18-unit facility will serve single males who are disproportionately represented in the homeless population. This supported living facility will include a family and cultural space, along with offices and meeting spaces. These 18 units are a welcome addition to the 222 units currently owned by Cress Housing. They will allow us to expand and continue to improve people’s quality of life in Saskatoon,” said Arcand.
“We’re happy to see this project underway and advancing quickly through the summer for delivery later this year. These eighteen units are needed to get more people off the street and in safe and affordable housing before the coldest winter months. And we’re happy to have 3twenty on board to make it happen.
This new building is set to exceed minimum energy code requirements by 20 per cent to minimize Cress Housing’s ongoing operating costs. In addition to the 18 suites, the building will have a cultural room and programming space to provide support to the building’s tenants.
“We are happy to partner once again with STC to deliver this important project. We have a long-standing relationship with STC as a Legacy Partner, which has enabled us to hire and provide training to STC members over the last several years. We are proud to say that we have several STC members participating in this build,” said 3twenty Modular co-founder Bryan McCrea.
According to the latest data presented by the Community-University Institute for Social Research, over 550 people self-identify as homeless in Saskatoon, including over 82 per cent who identified as Indigenous, and over 60 per cent who indicated that they needed help finding affordable housing.
“Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home. One of the most crucial forms of housing we need right now is housing that comes with support. Supports are critical to helping people stabilize and get back on their feet, which is what the Saskatoon Tribal Council is including in their housing project,” said Clark.
“So many people without housing are Indigenous, and having these supports provided through an Indigenous perspective is an important part of how our community responds to these needs. Thank you to all partners for their ongoing commitment to our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
The provincial government is committed to increasing the housing supply, improving housing affordability, and supporting individuals and families in greatest housing need.
“The government of Saskatchewan is proud to support this important project that will provide more supportive housing options for people in need in Saskatoon. I thank Cress Housing Corporation and our other partners as we work together to make affordable housing more accessible for Saskatchewan residents,” said Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Gene Makowsky.
The 18-unit facility at 115 Columbian Place in Saskatoon is made possible through Canada’s NHS’s rapid housing initiative delivered by CMHC. The RHI was launched in 2020 and continues to prioritize proposals that target units serving Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable people under NHS.
“Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home. Thanks to the partnership between our government, [the STC] and the City of Saskatoon, construction has begun on 18 new affordable homes with built-in support for those at risk of homelessness. I look forward to the day when construction has completed and the doors open for the future residents of 115 Columbian Place,” said Koutrakis.