Smaller communities face unique housing needs and homelessness challenges. There may be fewer resources and housing options available than in larger cities, and vacancy rates can be very low.
Kings Square Affordable Housing Corporation was formed in 2007 to address these challenges in the historic city of Charlottetown. It provides housing for local seniors, families and persons with disabilities. And its latest project, Martha Place, is making a big dent in the community’s housing needs.
Martha Place opened in 2020, and with 60 units, it is Kings Square’s largest project to date. Fifty of those units are maintained as affordable housing. “This is a small step to help solve the demand for affordable units in Charlottetown; however, it is a big step for Kings Square Affordable Housing Corporation,” says Kings Square Affordable Housing Corporation President Bill Campbell.
Martha Place received funding through CMHC’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund, and Kings Square worked with a multitude of other partners, including the Sisters of St. Martha of PEI and all levels of government, to make the project a reality.
Kings Square leases 50 units to the Prince Edward Island Housing Corporation to offer as affordable apartments to people on its waiting list, on a rent-geared to-income basis. The remaining 10 units are rented out to the general community at market rates, helping to offset some of the building’s operating costs.
Martha Place received a significant contribution—as well as its name—from Sisters of St. Martha of PEI, who have been helping those in need in their community for over 100 years. In exchange, the Sisters use the building’s common room to provide part-time support services to residents through their Living Well initiative. The programs offered are determined through community consultations.