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Continued action on creating more affordable housing and helping the homeless in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Mayor Fred Eisenberger and City Manager Janette Smith, offered to meet today with Defund the Police demonstration organizers in City Hall. The meeting was to take place within City Hall to ensure that appropriate physical distancing could take place. The demonstrators rejected the offer to meet indicating it was “all of them or none of them” a scenario that is not possible as it would violate public health orders.

The City of Hamilton continues to maximize all opportunities to develop safe and affordable housing with the right supports. The federal government recently guaranteed $10.8 million in funding to address Hamilton’s affordable housing pressures and to help provide vulnerable and low-income residents with good quality and stable housing.

In 2017, through Hamilton’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, which was spearheaded by Mayor Eisenberger and is the only such program of its kind in Canada, Council committed an additional $50 million dollars over 10 years to support investments in housing, and indigenous led poverty reduction including:

  • $20M for new affordable rental housing construction at $4M annually for five years (2017-2021),
  • $20M for social housing repairs and renovations at $2M annually for 10 years (2018-2027), and;
  • $10M for general Indigenous poverty reduction at $1M annually for 10 years (2018-2027)

That is in addition to the $45-$50 million annually that the City invests in the housing system, including social housing, housing affordability and homelessness programs.

Total Housing Services Budget by Funding Source

The amount of funding allocated to the City of Hamilton by all orders of government over the past six years:

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Federal 28,718,000 38,858,000 29,944,000 27,555,000 23,213,000 39,606,000
Provincial 24,574,000 42,027,000 43,233,000 27,748,000 31,338,000 27,185,000
Municipal 53,333,000 57,636,000 50,743,000 53,177,000 55,548,000 61,673,000
Total 106,625,000 138,521,000 123,920,000 108,471,000 110,010,000 128,554,000

In 2020 nearly 200 households secured housing from the shelters/encampments through the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit specifically. City staff continue to move people living rough into safe shelter every day. There is a safe spot available for any homeless person in Hamilton who wishes to avail themselves to it. If those spaces become full, more will be created.

The City will continue to explore and implement strategies to improve housing affordability through Hamilton’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan and will continue to maximize all opportunities available and advance a number of initiatives underway to support the housing needs of vulnerable members of our community.

The City remains open to hearing concerns from community members in a public forum through delegations to council and committees.

Members of the public who wish to delegate to Committees of Council may do so by visiting the City’s website at www.hamilton.ca/council-committee/council-committee-meetings/request-speak-committee-council

“Over the past six years we have received, allocated and invested over $716 million in funding towards reducing the impact of poverty in Hamilton through investment in safe, affordable housing. While there is no question that we still require additional funding support from provincial and federal partners to continue to address our affordable housing pressures, we share concerns for our homeless population and will continue our work to provide good quality and stable housing to those who need it most.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger

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