Millionaire builds 100 tiny homes in his hometown in an effort to battle homelessness

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By Nasima Khatun

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A Canadian millionaire has built 100 tiny homes in his hometown in an effort to battle homelessness in the area.

Marcel LeBrun used to run a thriving business but decided to sell it off for a hefty profit in order to start a project that involved building homes to tackle the issue in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

It all started when LeBrun realized that 1,800 people in the area had found themselves homeless for at least a day over the past year as per multiple reports.

Upon hearing about the issue, the millionaire decided to invest a whopping four million dollars in building 99 small homes in a project titled '12 Neighbours.'

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Aerial view of the Saint John River as it flows past downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Credit: Marc Guitard/Getty

The houses offer space to those in need, all equipped with a kitchen, bed, and bathroom. There's also a small patio on the outside for people to sit as well as solar panels on the roof for a more sustainable way of living.

Speaking to the CBC, LeBrun explained the homes will be built at a warehouse before being loaded onto concrete blocks that consist of the building's foundations.

"They have everything in them - a full kitchen, a full bathroom [and] a dining-living area kind of thing," he told the outlet in an interview.

"I see myself as a community builder, and really what we’re doing here is not just building a little community, but we’re building a community in a city, like how do we help our city be better?", he continued before adding that he hopes these homes will give people a sense of responsibility, and those who found themselves in difficult situations can live within a safe, gated community.

"When I was homeless, people just didn’t think I was real, they wouldn’t even acknowledge me," said 55-year-old Steven Dotson. "This place, it’s a blessing. It gives me hope and motivation to do something different with my life."

These tiny homes usually cost around $150,000 per unit to create.

The Mayor of the area, Matt Mahan, said this plan is a good use of time and money.

"These are interim solutions to mitigate the impacts because we cannot have this so-called 'doom loop' happening because of homelessness, where we lose our employers who are the tax base for cities and then we can’t fund basic services," he told Bloomberg.

"That’s just not a viable path for us," Mahan added.

However, some critics believe this is just a short-term solution for a bigger and more complicated problem.

"This 'we can do it faster and cheaper' argument that the mayor puts forward, sure, it sounds great when you’re thumping your chest in front of the microphone," said Jeffrey Buchanan, policy director of the nonprofit Working Partnerships USA, as per the outlet.

"But when you actually look at reality, it’s very different," he added.

Featured Image Credit: Avalon_Studio/Getty

Millionaire builds 100 tiny homes in his hometown in an effort to battle homelessness

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!

A Canadian millionaire has built 100 tiny homes in his hometown in an effort to battle homelessness in the area.

Marcel LeBrun used to run a thriving business but decided to sell it off for a hefty profit in order to start a project that involved building homes to tackle the issue in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

It all started when LeBrun realized that 1,800 people in the area had found themselves homeless for at least a day over the past year as per multiple reports.

Upon hearing about the issue, the millionaire decided to invest a whopping four million dollars in building 99 small homes in a project titled '12 Neighbours.'

wp-image-1263236324 size-large
Aerial view of the Saint John River as it flows past downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Credit: Marc Guitard/Getty

The houses offer space to those in need, all equipped with a kitchen, bed, and bathroom. There's also a small patio on the outside for people to sit as well as solar panels on the roof for a more sustainable way of living.

Speaking to the CBC, LeBrun explained the homes will be built at a warehouse before being loaded onto concrete blocks that consist of the building's foundations.

"They have everything in them - a full kitchen, a full bathroom [and] a dining-living area kind of thing," he told the outlet in an interview.

"I see myself as a community builder, and really what we’re doing here is not just building a little community, but we’re building a community in a city, like how do we help our city be better?", he continued before adding that he hopes these homes will give people a sense of responsibility, and those who found themselves in difficult situations can live within a safe, gated community.

"When I was homeless, people just didn’t think I was real, they wouldn’t even acknowledge me," said 55-year-old Steven Dotson. "This place, it’s a blessing. It gives me hope and motivation to do something different with my life."

These tiny homes usually cost around $150,000 per unit to create.

The Mayor of the area, Matt Mahan, said this plan is a good use of time and money.

"These are interim solutions to mitigate the impacts because we cannot have this so-called 'doom loop' happening because of homelessness, where we lose our employers who are the tax base for cities and then we can’t fund basic services," he told Bloomberg.

"That’s just not a viable path for us," Mahan added.

However, some critics believe this is just a short-term solution for a bigger and more complicated problem.

"This 'we can do it faster and cheaper' argument that the mayor puts forward, sure, it sounds great when you’re thumping your chest in front of the microphone," said Jeffrey Buchanan, policy director of the nonprofit Working Partnerships USA, as per the outlet.

"But when you actually look at reality, it’s very different," he added.

Featured Image Credit: Avalon_Studio/Getty