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Emergency & Community Services Committee advances a number of housing initiatives

HAMILTON, ON - Earlier today, the City’s Emergency and Community Services Committee advanced a number of significant initiatives and permanent solutions towards the City’s housing pressures.

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.

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 Shelter beds, (including 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

These reports go to Council on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 for ratification.

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

Going forward the City will continue to maximize all opportunities available and advance a number of initiatives underway to support the housing needs of vulnerable members of the community across the housing continuum. This includes the continued provision of and expansion of emergency shelter accommodations in response to immediate needs in the community and the pandemic; and implementing successful shelter diversion programs. This also includes ensuring housing stability supports are there to support successful tenancy and keep people housed. And finally, accelerating the building of new social housing units, and bringing units back online through maintenance.

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“It has been an honour to be the Chair for the last year and I am very pleased with all the great work that has been accomplished by staff and council. The significant work and supports for vulnerable residents advanced today is the culmination of months of efforts on the part of committee members, staff, and community partners throughout this term.”

Ward 7 Councillor Esther Pauls, Chair,  Emergency and Community Services Committee