Written by Hadiya Al-Idrissi
September 25, 2019
Last week, Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) organized a Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for their newest project, Veterans’ House: The Andy Carswell Building, on the Canso Campus. Project Manager Cynthia and Project Coordinator Hadiya had the pleasure of attending the event which featured a fly-by of one of the airplanes Andy Carswell himself flew in the Second World War. 95-year-old Veteran Andy Carswell as well as his son John Carswell spoke at the event and are key supporters of the project.
Veterans’ House will be a three-storey, 40-unit supportive housing development for homeless Veterans, on the former CFB Rockcliffe Airbase. In response to the growing recognition of homelessness among Veterans of the Canadian Forces, this project includes innovative design features developed in consultation with homeless veterans’ peer mentoring groups, PTSD experts, mental health experts, and a number of military organizations, to address the specific needs of this clientele.
All 40 units will be self-contained bachelor suites, with their own kitchen and bathroom. All eight units on the ground floor will be fully barrier-free, with the site and balance of the building designed to meet Universal Accessibility standards. The building will feature one central elevator, and an inviting main stairwell with natural lighting to encourage active living. The ground level of the building will include a variety of communal amenity and support service spaces, including a multi-purpose “mess hall”, a learning kitchen, a fitness room and quiet room. The project also includes a comprehensive landscape design that incorporates an outdoor BBQ patio area adjacent the multi-purpose space, a healing garden designed with PTSD sensitivities in mind, a dog run area for support service dogs, and an edible garden to encourage community building among tenants.
MHI is aiming to raise $5M for the project through fundraising. The balance of project costs will be covered through CMHC Co-Investment Fund financing and grant, waived City fees and charges, and other smaller grants.
Veterans’ House began construction at the start of September with occupancy expected in December 2020. If you would like to support this project, please visit http://www.multifaithhousing.ca/veterans-house.html
For more about the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, check out this article by the Ottawa Citizen: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/vets-home-opened
Development Project Coordinator
September 25, 2019