Sudbury project fills two needs: Paid job training, affordable housing

With the continued demand for affordable housing, the City of Greater Sudbury and Raising the Roof, a national homelessness prevention charity, are teaming up to create ten new rental units and provide paid job training.

The innovative partnership is also creating opportunities to train and employ people with barriers to employment in the trades.

A ribbon-cutting to officially kick off the renovations was held on Tuesday on Kingslea Court in New Sudbury.

"Timing is everything and we are seeing people throughout the community that are challenged with homelessness and this is going to help a significant number of people in finding deeply affordable housing," said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger.

The houses were owned by the city and now have been purchased by Raising the Roof.

"The purpose behind the Reside program at Raising the Roof is to take vacant real estate and turn it into affordable new rental units," said Adrian Dingle, the charity's director of housing development.

"And as much as we can work with social enterprise contractors, like community builders, in order to create training for people in the community. These are the two ways that we prevent homelessness in the communities that we serve."

The renovation work will be done by Community Builders North, a new social enterprise contractor in Sudbury that hires people facing barriers to employment for its trainee program.

"Barriers to employment sometimes look like you never held a job before, you didn't finish high school," said Carly Gasparini, the manager/director of Community Builders North.

"You have spent some time experiencing corrections, all sorts of different things. You might be having some insecure housing, insecure childcare issues. You might just be from a demographic that isn't typically hired into the trades sector."

In the past, in other parts of the province, 83 per cent of trainees have obtained paid apprenticeships or other full-time employment in the construction sector following participation in the 16-week paid program, officials said.