Ground Breaking of Innovative Affordable Housing and Employment Project in Sudbury

Non-profit group to renovate 5 properties, bringing affordable housing and employment opportunities to Sudbury

SUDBURY, Ontario, May 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an innovative partnership with the City of Greater Sudbury, Raising the Roof, a national homelessness prevention charity, is starting renovations on five vacant single family houses in Sudbury, Ontario. The houses were owned by the City of Greater Sudbury and now have been purchased by Raising the Roof. Each of the houses will be renovated into two units, adding 10 new units of affordable rental housing to the community. The tenants will be supported on an ongoing basis by Redwood Park Communities, an established housing provider who will work together with other local agencies and resources.

The renovation work will be used by Community Builders North, a new social enterprise contractor in Sudbury, as a vehicle to train and employ people with barriers to employment in the trades. Barriers such as a criminal record, no employment experience or references, low levels of education, or homelessness and addictions make it near impossible for individuals to be hired, continuing a cycle of poverty. Community Builders North will work with a variety of community partners to strengthen existing support networks for individuals and break this cycle through employment.

It is expected that at least 25 people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, will have affordable housing with supports and at least 35 youth and others with barriers to employment will get hands-on trades training and wraparound supports through this innovative and holistic long-term solution to homelessness.

Media Opportunity:
Wednesday, May 4 Ribbon cutting and tour
12:30-1:30pm 1517 Kingslea Crt, Sudbury or online via zoom or streamed on Instagram
Speakers at ribbon cutting (also available for comment):
Brian Biggar, Mayor of Greater Sudbury
Steve Jacques, City of Greater Sudbury General Manager of Community Development
Adrian Dingle, Director of Housing Development, Raising the Roof
Brandon Day, CEO of Community Builders
Carly Gaspirini, Managing Director of Community Builders North
Interviews with trades trainees
Marc Soberano, Executive Director of Raising the Roof

"I would like to welcome Community Builders and Raising the Roof to the community. We are excited about the opportunity to work with these organizations to create much needed affordable housing units in Greater Sudbury. This partnership also provides supports for individuals facing barriers and allows them to collect an income while they learn new skills to help them transition to the private labour force. City Council is committed to investing in affordable housing projects, and this collaboration is another step in the right direction."
Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger.

“The City of Greater Sudbury has capitalized on the opportunity to not only raise funds for their future affordable housing projects, but also invest in maintaining these units as affordable housing for the Sudbury Community. They have been exceptional partners throughout this process, and it is this innovative thinking that allows Raising the Roof to be successful in our mission.”
Raising the Roof Executive Director Marc Soberano

About Raising the Roof:
For 24 years, Raising the Roof has been a national leader in homelessness prevention. Their research and pilot projects are used by organizations across the country to prevent and end homelessness in their community. The iconic Toque Campaign has raised over $8 million for over 200 homelessness prevention programs across the country. Raising the Roof’s Reside program renovates vacant properties into housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. The renovations of these properties are used as a vehicle to train and employ people with barriers to employment through social enterprise contractors. 85% of people who worked on past Reside projects obtained full time positions in the trades.

About Community Builders:
Community Builders offers a 16 week paid program for people with barriers to employment to gain employment readiness skills and hands-on construction training in a supportive environment. Community Builders’ trainees will gain valuable experience as they work on this project. In the past 83% of Community Builders trainees have obtained paid apprenticeships or other full-time employment in the construction sector.

Leslie Bellingham
Director of Resource Development and Communication
Raising the Roof