Funding Cuts Will Hurt Northumberland County Housing Initiatives

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Reduced funding from the Ontario National Housing Strategy Action Plan will leave a big dent in Northumberland County’s plans to provide more housing for the vulnerable members of the community.

The news came from Manager of Housing Rebecca Carman at county council’s Social Services Committee meeting this week in a letter from Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra – a letter she said the county had only received last week.

“We are disappointed that the Federal and provincial governments have not been able to come to an agreement,” she told the committee.

She added that the Ontario Housing Benefit program will not be funded this year.

“In Northumberland, this represents a minimum of $1.2-million that will not be funded to the county. We use this funding specifically in our community, as many service managers do, for urgent capital repairs.”

Some urgent work is currently needed on their social-housing units, Carman said, adding that this also means the county cannot offer its assistance for repairs for low-income home owners. As well, a small supportive-housing project in its early stages will suffer a setback.

“We will continue to advocate to the Federal and provincial governments to continue this funding to us,” Carman said.

“While the Federal government has not committed their portion, we are hopeful the provincial government will continue to fund their portion of this funding to service managers.

“Municipalities and service managers across the province are just receiving this news, and we’re working together to find a joint advocacy plan to support this funding going forward.”

The motion from Warden Brian Ostrander directs staff to continue working with partner agencies to advocate to both Federal and provincial governments to continue this funding. It further recommends county council also advocate for the re-establishment of this funding, including approaches to the Prime Minister, the Ontario Premier, housing ministers at both levels, and Northumberland-Peterborough South MP and MPP.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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