Together with the community, Halton Region is working to achieve the best possible health and well-being for all residents. As part of the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018, Halton is committed to providing safe, affordable, well-maintained and accessible housing that will help prevent and address homelessness and support the overall health of our community.
Regional Council has a strong track record of investing in affordable and assisted housing opportunities in Halton, and we continue to advocate for funding from other levels of government to assist us in delivering this essential support. Between 2008 and the end of 2016, the Region will have created 1,323 new government-assisted housing opportunities to help put an end to homelessness in Halton.
Currently, Halton Region invests $35.9 million annually in social infrastructure through Halton’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy (2014-2024), which lays the framework for continuing to provide government-assisted housing options for low income residents. The Strategy outlines a target of 550-900 new government-assisted housing opportunities for residents over the next decade – one of the most ambitious housing goals in Ontario!
As part of the Strategy significant funding has been allocated to proactively address housing in Halton through investments in the following areas:
- $26.2 million annually in assisted housing options for residents with low incomes;
- $21.1 million allocated to social housing;
- $3.7 million in rent supplements and housing allowances;
- $910,000 for homelessness prevention; and
- $540,000 for community programs for transitional emergency housing supports.
To help lower the risk of homelessness in the Halton community, the Region continues to provide a wide range of housing services and supports. These include subsidized housing (rent-geared-to-income and the Rent Supplement Program), portable housing allowances (Halton In-situ Program) and the Housing with Related Supports long-term housing program for individuals with physical or mental health challenges.
In addition, Halton has supports in place to help prevent homelessness as a result of personal crises. For example, if residents are facing urgent financial challenges, they can apply for one-time assistance with energy bills and their last month’s rent through the Housing Stability Fund. Halton also funds emergency shelter programs for individuals and families through the Salvation Army, and is a partner in the Safe Beds program, which provides support to homeless adults 16 years of age and older who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
By engaging the private sector and community agencies, encouraging the kind support of volunteers and donors and advocating for long-term support from our federal and provincial partners our community is positioned to meet the housing needs of all residents. Working together, we will ensure that Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for everyone.
To learn more about Halton’s range of housing options and services, I encourage you to review our Regional housing services online or dial 311.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.