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

In a bid to address homelessness in his hometown, a wealthy Canadian entrepreneur, Marcel LeBrun, has constructed 100 small homes. LeBrun, who previously operated a successful business, chose to sell it for a substantial profit to initiate this project aimed at combating homelessness in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
The inspiration for this endeavor struck when LeBrun became aware, through various reports, that around 1,800 individuals in the region experienced homelessness for at least a day over the past year.

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.'
These homes provide essential living space for those in need, complete with a kitchen, bed, and bathroom. Additionally, each dwelling features a small outdoor patio for residents to enjoy, and the roofs are equipped with solar panels to promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

In an interview with CBC, LeBrun elaborated on the construction process, noting that the homes are assembled in a warehouse before being placed on concrete blocks that serve as the foundation for the buildings. Describing the homes, he emphasized that they come fully equipped with a comprehensive set of amenities, including a full kitchen, bathroom, and a combined dining and living area.

"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 region, Matt Mahan, expressed support for the initiative, considering it a prudent allocation of both time and resources.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Mahan emphasized the necessity of these interim measures to alleviate the repercussions of homelessness. He highlighted the potential detrimental effects of a 'doom loop,' where the loss of employers, who constitute the tax base for cities, could lead to a lack of funding for essential services. Mahan stressed that such a scenario is an unsustainable path for the community.

However, there are critics who argue that this approach is merely a temporary fix for a more intricate and substantial issue. Jeffrey Buchanan, the policy director of the nonprofit Working Partnerships USA, contested the mayor's perspective, stating that the "faster and cheaper" argument may sound appealing in public statements but diverges from the complexities of reality.

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