SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT. — The Ontario government is investing $900,000 in a project in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. that will help people move out of community housing as well as provide training to help social assistance recipients develop job skills.
The District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board will use the funding to buy up to six homes in a state of disrepair and expand a training program at Sault College that teaches Ontario Works clients building and maintenance skills, states a release.
The students will work with licensed contractors to renovate the homes, which the board will then sell to residents of community housing and low-income community members.
About 90 people will receive training in renovation and construction, and more than 50 of them are expected to find employment and exit social assistance, adds the release.
The board will give qualifying families or individuals a forgivable loan to help with the down payment and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation insurance and the homes will be sold on a cost-recovery basis, keeping house prices affordable.
The proceeds will be used to buy more homes to renovate and resell.
“This is an innovative and sustainable project that builds skills and homes for people who need them,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing, in a statement.
“We need more creative ideas like this to help people find good jobs and achieve the dream of home ownership.”