Village of tiny homes for homeless veterans approved for southeast Calgary location

Homes for Heroes will open in Forest Lawn in the spring of 2019 at the corner of 36th Street and Eighth Avenue S.E.

275-square-foot houses are a joint project by ATCO, Homes for Heroes Foundation and the Mustard Seed

The Homes for Heroes residences built by ATCO are just 275 square feet. (CBC)

Calgary city council has approved a village of tiny homes for homeless veterans.

The Homes for Heroes village will open in Forest Lawn in southeast Calgary in the spring of 2019 at the corner of 36th Street and Eighth Avenue S.E.   

David Howard, president and co-founder of the Homes for Heroes Foundation, is spearheading the project.

"I'm thrilled, I'm emotional, quite frankly. This is something we've been working at for two and a half years," he said.

"So, we walked into council, very hopeful to get a unanimous decision to move forward to build our first in Calgary. It's just an incredible thing, right after Remembrance Day."

Homes for Heroes Foundation president David Howard says there are far too many veterans across Canada struggling with homelessness. (CBC)

ATCO took care of the design and construction, and will take care of the delivery and placement of the 275-square foot homes, and the Mustard Seed is selecting suitable tenants for the village.

Last month, ATCO showed off the first of the tiny homes the company is building for the Homes for Heroes Foundation.

They're fully equipped with a kitchen, a three-piece bathroom and a living room that doubles as a bedroom with a Murphy-bed.

The goal is to start moving veterans into the units late next spring. The village will have 15 homes, a resource centre, community gardens and memorials to Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

The homes will be grouped as a village to create a community of peers.

The houses are small but nicely equipped with all the amenities of a modern home. (CBC)

Howard says his foundation is working to replicate the Homes for Heroes village model in cities across the country.

"We want to build two in every major municipality," he said.

Ottawa estimates there are about 2,600 homeless veterans across Canada, but Howard says the true number is likely substantially higher.

"This is a transitional program. So the idea is they're coming in, working on self, working in that peer-to-peer program, with their buddies, I've got your back, I've got your six. And then moving on from there and becoming a mentor for the next one to come in," he said.

"So we believe that we have a solution that we can take across Canada to end homelessness among our veteran population."

ATCO is taking care of the design and construction as well as the delivery and placement of the tiny homes at the Homes for Heroes villages. (CBC)