Housing advocates in Barrie are applauding the start of construction on a unique multi-million-dollar supportive housing project to help tackle the city's housing crisis.

The Salvation Army Ontario Division fronted $500,000 and the land for the two-storey building that will include 12 fully furnished, two-bedroom units for families in crisis.

On Tuesday morning, crews started work on the new development behind the Salvation Army's Citadel Church at 151 Lillian Crescent.

The over 14,000 square feet of supportive housing units will provide short-term relief for families working on getting back on their feet.

The facility will also be somewhere for families to get support from outreach workers and others who share their struggles.

The project is a joint initiative between Redwood Park Communities, a Barrie-based charity, and The Salvation Army.

"We are so happy to see this building becoming a reality through the generosity of our community and this support from The Salvation Army," said Tim Kent, co-founder and CEO of Redwood Park Communities.

"Like any housing project, it is really about people and the positive impact of having a safe, affordable, hopeful place to call home," Kent added.

Construction is anticipated to be completed by next summer.