Federal funding application denial a setback for Kingston, Ont. youth hub – Kingston |

A local non-profit that aims to build a “youth hub” in midtown Kingston, Ont., is still reeling after being denied millions in funding from the federal government.

Home Base Housing wants the hub built on the site of Princess Street United Church.

“We are absolutely surprised to hear very recently that in fact the federal Rapid Housing Initiative Program did not support our application,” said Home Base Housing executive director Tom Greening.

Greening says the $14-million application was to create more supportive housing in the city for at-risk youth.

The housing would play a large role in not just getting the youth off the street but helping them reintegrate into society.

“It just makes sense that we should be putting our efforts into providing longer-term supportive housing as opposed to band-aids through emergency shelters,” said Greening.

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Kingston and the Islands Member of Parliament Mark Gerretsen says the innovative nature of the supportive housing may have contributed to the application denial.

“The cost per unit of this particular project was much higher than the cost per unit in other projects,” said Gerretsen.

The Liberal MP says not backing the project could prove shortsighted.

“It’s a very vulnerable population in our community and it’s not just about housing here, it’s also about the other social services and the supports that Home Base Housing provides to youth in our community,” said Gerretsen.

Greening says they will now have to take another look at the youth hub and look for funding elsewhere.

“We will try to reduce the scope of the project and the cost of the project and find other ways to be successful and get some keys for young people to be able to move in and get the support they need,” said Greening.

If the $14-million application had been approved, the youth hub would have provided supportive housing for 29 youth in the community.

Click to play video: 'Kingston Youth Shelter aiming to nearly double its capacity'

Kingston Youth Shelter aiming to nearly double its capacity

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