Grey County affordable housing programs could face cuts

Grey County Building (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Over $1.8 million helped fund services, programs and organizations to prevent homelessness in Grey County last year.

A report to council shows the county assists over 1,100 households though homelessness prevention supports, including a monthly rental supplement for 74 homes.

The county also operates and maintains 997 units of community housing throughout Grey County.

Grey County will see 28 new affordable housing units completed by the end of this year.

In 2018, Owen Sound Housing Company developed 28 new units of affordable housing called Odawa Heights funded through Grey County’s Investment in Affordable Housing Program. Eight more units are planned for 2019. Affordable housing rents are 80% of market rent as determined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This equates to about $577 a month in Grey County.

Community Living Owen Sound and District built six units of affordable housing with funds from Grey County’s Investment in Affordable Housing Program Rental Build program

Warden Selwyn Hicks said another 22 units are in the planning stage.

An enumeration in April 2018 included 33 individuals who identified as homeless in Grey County.

The county-funded over 1,600 nights of emergency housing to over 400 households

However, Grey County staff have reviewed Ontario’s Community Housing Renewal Strategy.  Their report said for the past three years housing has received an average of $1.6 million from the province for housing programs including a rental build program.  The report said the decrease in funding over the next three years especially 2020’s allocation of $374,900 will lead to the cancellation of some current housing programs.