New Transitional Youth Housing
Home Base YK, in partnership with Taylor Architecture Group, has a vision to establish a community-oriented supported living centre. This centre would provide varying levels of support based on the needs of the youth, and would be in a centralized location to ensure youth are surrounded by community while learning and growing with one another. This centre would provide stable housing for many youth in the community of Yellowknife.
The benefits of this approach
* The shared central core allows for the construction of semi-independent units to be extremely affordable in terms of both construction and maintenance.
* These housing units would act as an intermediary phase between more intensive supported living such as at Home Base Youth Dorms, and fully independent living elsewhere in the city.
* A live-in caregiver, with regular support from youth key workers throughout the week, would provide support to those living in the independent units while maintaining oversight of the full facility.
* The small size of each living unit physically limits the size of unsupervised gatherings. Because of this, the possibility of disruption to the surrounding neighbourhood is minimal. (Despite this, the lots we’ve suggested are generally out-of-the way and not bordered by private residences).
Small homes approach
The City of Yellowknife recently introduced a small homes approach to residential zoning. We would make use of this approach to create housing for youth transitioning out of homelessness, in the form of semi-independent living units sharing a central facility with core services.
Site Option A: 5202 49th St
Home Base YK's preferred site option is the large empty lot at the corner of 52nd Ave and 49th Street. The size and location of this site are ideal. There are no residential neighbours (houses), and there is enough space to create a discrete cluster of independent units, set back from the street and pedestrian walkways. As this is located directly across from the current headquarters of the Foster Family Coalition of the Northwest Territories, there are good opportunities to tie programming together between the two organizations - which will help to address the foster care to homelessness pipeline. Because of the current zoning on this lot, a clustered neighbourhood of small homes can be constructed here.
Site Option B: 5117 52nd St
This is an empty lot, neighbouring existing public housing units owned by NWTHC. The footprint of the lot is sizable enough to fit 3-4 independent bedroom units, plus a central facility containing additional bedrooms. The independent units could be stacked double-height to create up to 8 separate residences, which would be constructed as a single structure.
Site Option C: lot with existing house
As a contingency option, Home Base YK could also purchase a different downtown lot with an existing house. The house would be renovated into a central core for the transitional housing complex. Separate units would be built in the backyard – in two-storey configurations if necessary to maximize the use of space.
Partnership with Taylor Architecture Group
TAG would provide professional architectural and engineering services on this project, and ensure that the project abides by all applicable codes, standards and by-laws. TAG has designed and overseen the construction of many single-family and multi-family residential buildings across NWT over the past 40 years, as well as social support infrastructure & renovations in Yellowknife such as the Day Shelter / Sobering Centre.
Timeline and Funding
Home Base YK has not secured funding for this project. The initial project proposal was released in February 2021, and Home Base YK is continuing to search for funding for this project.
Once funding is secured, the design and construction phase is expected to take 1.5 years and cost between $1.2-$1.4 million.