New investments in Halton will increase housing opportunities

Delivering new, affordable and assisted housing opportunities is one of Regional Council’s strategic priorities, and this commitment is an essential part of building healthy and inclusive communities in Halton.

In recent weeks I have attended two events that highlighted the important issue of affordable housing in Halton. On October 28, I joined the Honourable Kevin Flynn (MPP Oakville), the Honourable ) Eleanor McMahon (MPP Burlington) and the Honourable Indira Naidoo-Harris (MPP Halton) as they announced that Halton will receive over $10 million in provincial funding through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI).

CHPI funding is used to support various initiatives in Halton including:

  •  the Emergency Shelter program;
  • the Housing with Related Supports program (formerly the Domiciliary Hostel program which supports 152 beds);
  • our Housing Stability Fund which keeps Halton residents housed by providing first/last month’s rent, utility assistance and moving/storage costs;  and,
  • our Halton Housing Help service, which helps residents obtain housing in Halton Region’s private market place and supports landlords to provide affordable housing opportunities.

Regional Council has also enhanced CHPI funding with an additional $550,000 in 2016-17 to assist our efforts to create more affordable housing options and supports in our community.

On November 1, I joined Halton Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) board members and staff as they celebrated 15 years of service to the community. HCHC plays an important role providing property and tenant management services including life enrichment activities to families and older adults living in 32 Regionally-owned, assisted housing communities.

The Region invests $35.9 million annually in our social infrastructure through Halton’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy (2014-2024) which provides affordable and assisted housing options for eligible residents. Between 2008 and the end of 2016, the Region will have established at least 1,323 new affordable or assisted housing opportunities in our community.

We also recently implemented an Assisted Housing Framework (AHF) to acquire ownership of housing units to increase the Region’s stock and ensure a long-term supply of affordable rental housing.  We have acquired 74 condominium units across Halton Region that will be used for assisted housing purposes; the first units will be ready for occupancy early in 2017.

I want to thank the Ontario Government for providing enhancements to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative which boosts our efforts to provide important housing support and opportunities to Halton residents.

Housing is a joint responsibility that must be delivered with a long-term commitment from all levels of government. By working together to increase assisted and affordable housing opportunities in the community, we are making Halton a great place to live, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. 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”.