No huge enlargement deliberate for Oshawa micro-homes

Currently, there are 10 micro-homes on land owned by the Region of Durham at Olive Avenue, Drew Street and Banting Avenue, and there are no plans to expand the project.

Rumors of a large expansion to double the size of the Oshawa micro-home project for people experiencing chronic homelessness aren’t accurate, according to the Region of Durham.

“At this time, there aren’t any plans to expand the existing number of micro-homes in Oshawa,” Erin Valant, Region of Durham area manager of income and employment support, said via email. “Eventually, the existing 10 micro-homes that have been constructed will be relocated to a permanent location. That location is still to be confirmed.”

Currently, the 10 micro-homes sit on land owned by the Region of Durham at Olive Avenue, Drew Street and Banting Avenue.

The temporary transitional tiny housing is designed to help bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing. Residents are selected from Durham’s By-Name List (a list of people who are currently homelessness) and each resident has help from local agencies to meet their needs (including case management, financial assistance, employment services, mental health and addictions supports and life skills teaching).

The trail-blazing project was completed early this year and the first residents moved in this spring.

“The micro-home pilot in Oshawa is going well and the units are currently occupied by program participants,” Valant explained. “The goal is to help them transition into permanent housing when they are ready, and then welcome new residents into the units.”

Micro-home residents can stay for up to four years until they have found more permanent housing.

The Region is partnering with Durham College and Ontario Tech to complete an evaluation of the pilot and to co-design best practices for the implementation of housing projects to address chronic homelessness. The evaluation is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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