Kingsville council waives fees for community to build new home for Ukrainian refugees

·2 min read
Gary Taveirne is donating a subdivision lot so that a new home for two families of Ukrainian refugees can live there. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
Gary Taveirne is donating a subdivision lot so that a new home for two families of Ukrainian refugees can live there. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

A Kingsville developer who is building a home for Ukrainian refugees has gotten the support of town council, which has agreed to waive development fees associated with the project.

In starting the Kyiv Home Project, Gary Taveirne and his family were inspired by the story of his own in-laws who escaped to Canada from war-torn Bosnia in 1994.

"We used that as our story of hope and our inspiration for this project," he said.

The home, which would house two families, is being built in the Woodridge Estates subdivision he is developing in Cottam. He hopes to have the home built by September.

Jennifer Baggio, Taveirne's daughter who is also working on the project, made a presentation at Kingsville Council's meeting on Monday night, asking for council to waive development charges and fees — which would be about $19,600 — and for a building permit to be issued as soon as possible.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

The motion passed unanimously but with the condition that if the home is sold within five years for any purpose other than supporting refugees, that the fees be reimbursed.

A long list of companies are donating labour and materials to make the project happen, including BK Cornerstone, which is stepping in as the general contractor.

The home will be given to the Cottam United Church, which has agreed to support the two families for three years through fundraising.

Taveirne and the church are looking to raise $250,000 for the project. The church will be looking for volunteers to help settle the families.

Rev. Kim Gilliland said it will take a large number of people.

"We have a good number of people at our church, what we're hoping to do is engage the community, so this becomes not just a church project, it becomes a community project in Cottam."

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