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Addressing homelessness one step at a time

 

Addressing homelessness one step at a time

If you look at the backlog of applications for assisted housing the task seems hopeless. But through a number of smaller initiatives, Hamilton’s Emergency and Community Services Committee advanced a number of significant initiatives to at least get started on the task.

Through the creativity of staff, community partners and committee members and prudent fiscal management of the City’s Housing portfolio the City advanced long-term initiatives while balancing emergency response in the community. In all, the initiative will supplement rents, allow Hamilton Housing tenants to purchase units, create additional emergency shelter beds for marginalized adults, fix up some units that need upgrading and build new affordable housing units.

Highlights include:

•             The approval of $1 million municipal reallocation of 2020 surplus funds towards a ‘Rent Ready’ Program to be allocated equally to a Housing Rent Bank to support tenants that may face housing instability in 2021 as a result of the pandemic, and the rapid repair of Social Housing units.

•             Rent supplements for Indwell Community Homes project at 225 East Avenue North to enable a minimum of 84 all 95 units in the development to be rented at deeply affordable levels.

•             $1.065 million municipal investment towards a partnership between the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Community Foundation, and Kiwanis Homes on a Kiwanis Homes Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program supporting the sale of 30-40 Kiwanis homes to qualifying social housing tenants which helps build equity and home ownership for eligible residents.

•             Recommendation to refer $950,000 from the net levy to the 2021 operating budget for consideration to support the operating costs of Emergency Shelter for women, trans-feminine, trans-masculine and non-binary adults which would support the expansion of up to 50 net new emergency beds in the women’s shelter system, up to 25 net new violence against women shelter beds for single women, and a minimum of 65 Single Room Occupancy housing units.

•             System Manager Consent to permit the development of 95 new affordable housing units as part of CityHousing Hamilton’s development strategy which includes a 40-unit affordable housing development 55 Queenston Rd. and a 55-unit affordable housing development at 106-104 Bay St. N.

•             $120,000 from Ward 3 Special Capital Re-Investment towards security upgrades at CityHousing Hamilton’s 430 Cumberland Avenue property

Annually the City oversees on average $120 million housing and homelessness system which includes $45-50 million annual municipal investment. 

The measures taken with the passage of this package of initiatives will support one way or another, about 300 housing units or shelter beds.

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