Education Minister and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Huron Bruce receiving money for housing and homelessness prevention

Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is welcoming a provincial investment into affordable housing and homelessness prevention.

She said her government is providing more than $1 billion in 2019-2020 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness.

Huron County will receive a total of $1.19 million, while Bruce County will get $1.44 million.

The announcement came with new funding in four areas:
-Investment in Affordable Housing in Ontario (2014 Extension) – Huron County: $251,800; Bruce County: $287,300
-Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative: Huron County $548,392; Bruce County: $625,441
-Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative: Huron County $367,100; Bruce County: $474,200
-Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative: Huron County: $29,106; Bruce County: $58,387

“Many people believe homelessness and housing shortages are just urban issues, but that is simply not the case,” Thompson said. “My constituency offices in Kincardine and Blyth deal with this on a regular basis. I know these funds will help alleviate the problem and provide assistance to those who need it most.”

Thompson said the plan is to transform “a fragmented and inefficient system” into one that is “more streamlined, sustainable to help people” who need it most.

“Our government believes families shouldn’t have to live in buildings with crumbling walls, leaking roofs and broken elevators,” Thompson said. “We will work with the province and non-profits to address issues like safety, overcrowding and long wait lists.”

Thompson said Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy includes early steps to improve community housing across the province:

-Encouraging tenants to seek opportunities at school and work by removing existing penalties for working more hours or going to college or university
-Making rent more predictable by simplifying rent calculations
-Freeing up the waitlist by having tenants prioritize their first choice and accept the first unit they are offered while allowing Service Managers flexibility to make exceptions in extenuating circumstances
-Protecting tenants who receive child support payments by ensuring their rent is not impacted by payments
-Making housing available to those who truly need it by requiring an asset test
-Making housing safer by empowering housing providers to turn away tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity