City of Hamilton boosts spending on affordable housing by $4.26 million

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Published April 6, 2022 at 9:37 am

City of Hamilton boosts spending on affordable housing by $4.26 million
The City of Hamilton will boost the amount of money it contributes to repairing and maintaining affordable housing units by $4.26 million this year.

The City of Hamilton will boost the amount of money it contributes to repairing and maintaining affordable housing units by $4.26 million this year.

The City said Wednesday (Apr. 6) that the budget-approved $35.7 million in 2022 should ensure the availability of units and a more rapid turnaround of units between tenants.

“These investments are part of a strategy that also preserves the number of Hamilton’s affordable community housing units at end-of-mortgage,” the City stated in an official media release.

Hamilton has 12,700 units in its community housing stock, and nearly half (6,290) of the CityHousing units are scheduled for maintenance and/or repair under the current budget.

“Our budget commitments for local community housing repairs, preservation and retrofits help see that the City’s almost 13,000 units of housing stock are kept in good use or brought online,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “These strategic investments will improve the quality of life for residents and ensure Hamilton’s community housing stock is sustainable over the long term.”

The following breakdown of program funding was provided:

  • The City contributes $35.7 million annually, a $1.8 million increase over 2021 towards supporting housing providers for operating costs, including increased utility costs and general maintenance, which ensures the preservation of housing units for those in need.
  • An increase of $1.2 million in the annual municipal contribution to support housing providers with operating costs which include state of good repair maintenance.
  • A $1.26 million boost in dedicated annual funding for a total of $111 million municipal contributions towards the National Housing Strategy Co-Investment Fund Repair and Renewal Stream’s $145.7 million loan repayment which will see the repair and renewal of 6,290 CityHousing Hamilton units.

Hamilton’s 2022 budget will also continue to invest its annualized contribution to the following programs:

  • $2 million will be contributed from the City of Hamilton’s Poverty Reduction Fund investment of $20 million over 10 years towards community housing repair. In the last two years (2020 and 2021), this funding has supported the repairs and renovations affecting 751 units, including 228 CityHousing Hamilton units.
  • $1 million will be contributed from the City of Hamilton’s Indigenous Poverty Reduction Fund investment of $10 million over 10 years towards Indigenous social housing repair. In the last two years (2020 and 2021), this funding has supported the repairs and renovations of 322 units.
  • $500,000 capital funding for community housing through the Municipal Capital Grant funding program.

The City maintains that its investments in community housing for subsidies and capital improvements in the long-term incentivize housing providers to keep rents affordable.

Hamilton has been broiled in conflict with local advocates over its commitment to affordable housing and its treatment of the unhomed who had been residing in encampments since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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