Smart Growth in Action: Canal Street Veteran's Housing
Transitional housing is an important feature for any community, especially if there is a large homeless population. The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) recently brought this crucial resource in line with several smart growth principles in a way that seeks to serve and honor Vermont’s homeless veterans.
The newly opened Canal Street Veterans Housing in Winooski was once an abandoned cellar hole with nothing more than a few trees growing out of it. Thanks to COTS and Duncan-Wisniewski Architecture, the building at 120 West Canal Street now provides 28 units of affordable housing to community members in need. Of these units, 12 are permanent, while the remaining 16 are two-year transitional units for struggling homeless veterans, who also receive services such as assistance in finding employment and a more permanent housing situation.
Aside from being a prime example of a Brownfield development, the Veterans Housing Center is ideally located in town. It provides easy access to public transportation, the Community College of Vermont, and various other services such as the Winooski VFW. The Center boasts energy efficient insulation and fiberglass windows to minimize environmental impact.
The Canal Street Veterans Housing was made possible by funding and loans from a variety of sources, including the Veterans Administration, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Vermont Community Development Program. If, in the future, there is less of a need for transitional housing for veterans, COTS will use the center to provide affordable housing.