• barrhavenward3

April 15th - Committee moves to build capacity of City housing benefit programs

The City’s Community and Protective Services Committee today approved changes to municipal housing benefit programs, including updating City housing allowances to be consistent with current provincial programs and reallocating funding to support both existing households and anticipated growth.

The programs provide financial stability for low-income households and help people experiencing homelessness access permanent, affordable housing. The City provides benefits either as a rent subsidy paid directly to a landlord or as a housing allowance paid to a household. These programs are at capacity, and reallocating and accessing over $2.3 million from other municipal housing programs and provincial funding programs would allow the City both to continue funding current recipients and take on new applicants.

By updating the City’s housing allowance framework to be consistent with provincial portable housing benefits, recipients would be better able to afford costs associated with finding and keeping housing. For example, updated funding would provide access to first and last month’s rent, making it easier for recipients to secure and maintain an affordable home in the private rental market.

The City would also formally request additional funding from the Province for housing benefits, seeking more permanent, stable operating funding to support the growth and sustainability of City programs.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, April 28.

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