The City of Hamilton has approved a one-time $2-million investment to address homelessness and affordable housing in the city.
On Wednesday (June 9), City Council approved the funds which will go towards housing allowances for clients of City-funded Intensive Case Management programs (ICM).
“This investment will provide 93 individuals or households with housing allowances ensuring for housing stability over the next four years,” a press release said.
This will be in addition to the continuation of supports for Hamilton’s most vulnerable during COVID-19, including isolation services for people experiencing homelessness, and the continuation of funding for enhanced drop-in services for local agencies.
“The recommendations approved yesterday allow us to continue to work collectively with a wide range of community partners to address the immediate needs of unsheltered and unhoused Hamiltonians, while addressing long-term strategies for permanent housing and supports,” said Edward John, Director Housing Services.
“Through this, our systems response is better resourced over time to adequately support the transition away from expanded emergency measures created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to a more responsive, resilient, sustainable and housing-focused homeless-serving system.”
Earlier this year, $1-million of the 2021 budget was earmarked for the rapid repair of out-of-service social housing units and increasing the Housing Stability Benefit budget to support tenants at risk of losing housing due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The City also committed to an additional $950,000 in annual funding (year over year) towards a new shelter focused on addressing the unique needs of women, Indigenous women, trans-feminine, trans-masculine, and non-binary community members experiencing homelessness.
“Safe, affordable housing – including meeting the needs of unsheltered and unhoused residents through continuity of service while supporting long-term housing stability for vulnerable residents remains a top priority for Hamilton City Council,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger in Thursday’s news release.
“This investment supports our continued efforts across the housing continuum to ensure everyone has a home.”
Hamilton’s housing system administration is funded by all levels of government and allocates and invests approximately $120 million annually into the housing and homelessness system including a $64 million municipal contribution in 2021.
According to the press release, these investments build on the City’s strategic goals to address housing and homelessness challenges throughout the city in alignment with Hamilton’s 10 year Housing & Homelessness Action Plan (January 2020).