Hamilton is Home Initiative
August 26, 2020
By: Sean Botham
Hamilton is Home is an alliance of community housing providers sharing their knowledge and experience and advocating for new funding to maximize public benefit and address the growing need for affordable housing.
The collective was launched by the seven active affordable housing developers in Hamilton: Indwell Community Homes, YWCA Hamilton, Sacajawaea Non-Profit Housing, Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes, Victoria Park Community Homes, East Hamilton Non-Profit Homes, and CityHousing Hamilton. These organizations began to formally meet in early 2020 around the idea of pitching a group of projects to the Federal government for funding from the Co-Investment Fund, the flagship program of CMHC’s National Housing Strategy.
Under the banner Hamilton is Home, the collective of affordable housing developers has articulated the goal of building 3,000 new affordable units in the next three years. This idea has broad support from the community, with many other housing providers, community service organizations, and resource partners having formally expressed their support for the work of the collective.
The 50+ sites required to build the proposed 3,000 new affordable units have either already been acquired or identified for development by collective members. However, these projects are only feasible with Federal and/or Provincial government investment.
To address the funding need, the collective has engaged with CMHC staff, Federally with Filomena Tassi, the Minister of Labour, and with Adam Vaughan, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development (Housing), and Provincially, Donna Skelly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Job Creation and Trade) and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The City of Hamilton is supportive of the initiative, with senior City of Hamilton staff engaged in discussion around processes that could accelerate solutions to homelessness and affordable housing, and a motion passed in support of the Hamilton is Home initiative through the City of Hamilton’s Emergency and Community Services Committee, which was then ratified at Council.
If adequate funding commitments are made, this would allow for the build out of multiple sites which would drastically reduce the housing waiting list, homelessness, and chronic hospitalizations, and provide housing stability for thousands of individuals and families who live and work in Hamilton.