I wanted everyone to be aware of what I believe is an exciting opportunity that I’ll be tabling at our City Council meeting on Monday, July 18th.
I have been thinking further, on what more we could do to help those in need in Guelph to obtain supportive housing. And in doing so, I remembered that recently Council rightly made the decision on a portion ($500k) of the 2021 surplus to be allocated into the reserve for affordable/supportive housing.
I have confirmed with city staff that there is no application that’s been made for these funds and no new project is on the horizon currently. Therefore, the $500k sitting in the reserve for housing is doing nothing more than just sitting.
I also got exited seeing the community come together over the last couple of months to initiate the “Home for Good” campaign which is trying to raise several million for supportive housing projects in Guelph. This is overseen by The Poverty Task Force, United Way and The Guelph Community Foundation. The website on this is here for further information:
What I’m proposing on Monday for City Council is an opportunity to turn $500,000 into $1,000,000 dollars. Or better stated, we have a chance to give $1,000,000 towards supportive housing instead of $500,000.
Many of us will recall that the Federal Government has often told Canadians that in times of war or natural disasters in Canada or around the world, that if we donate to the Red Cross that the government will “match” the donations made.
My idea is to do exactly the same.
We have the chance to rally the community around pulling together to solve homelessness by leveraging the $500,000 sitting in our reserve doing nothing, and match donations made to the Home for Good campaign.
My motion is here:
“That in alignment with the “Building Our Future” pillar of the Strategic Plan, staff be directed to partner alongside the Guelph Community Foundation and United Way, to the satisfaction of the DCAO of Corporate Services, to leverage up to $500,000 from the Affordable Housing Reserve for a matching funds program for the “Home for Good” supportive housing campaign with a start date of August 1st 2022, and an end date of March 1st 2023. And, that staff report back to Council with lessons learned through this partnership.”
I have directly aligned my motion from our approved Council Strategic Plan.
The “Building Our Future” pillar calls for:
“a community that supports us”
And, the theme under that priority area is:
“Help increase the availability of housing that meets community needs.”
The key initiative under that theme is:
“working with partners to create smart programs and policies that enable more people to obtain housing”. There is also a second key initiative that calls for advocating for increased funding from federal and provincial government, which with this motion can accomplish that and “shine a light” on the creativity that Guelph Council is initiating through such a partnership on getting urgent supportive housing done.
My hope is that this passes on Monday and we have the chance to give $1,000,000 towards homes for people that have none.
Take care and have a good weekend,