HAMILTON, ON June 2, 2016 – At today’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Big City Mayors Caucus, Mayor Eisenberger reinforced the importance of a National Housing Strategy.
One in five in Hamilton lives below the poverty line. One in four children lives in poverty.
Today, over 5,900 households in the City of Hamilton find themselves on the social housing wait list. This is the highest our wait list has ever been. Affordable housing has been and continues to be a priority for us here in Hamilton.
Over 2,800 people accessed emergency shelters in 2015. The rapidly growing cost of housing is making it increasingly difficult for many Hamiltonians to own a home or to rent an apartment. The average two-bedroom apartment in Hamilton now costs more than $920 a month.
The announcement in the recent 2016 federal budget, of funding for affordable housing and homelessness initiatives, is welcome. We are encouraged that the federal government has committed to addressing housing issues.
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy currently funds and monitors programs that assist households to prevent homelessness or obtain housing. Our 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan is committed to strategies and measures to increase our supply of affordable housing.
We have been a national leader in helping to pilot the 20,000 Homes initiative. Our recent Point in Time Count speaks to the unacceptable, affordable housing shortfall in our community and the continuing challenges we experience in housing our homeless.
On May 11, a motion was passed by city council calling for a significant investment in people. The motion represents a total of 50 million dollars invested over 10 years in affordable housing and the reduction of poverty. Further, Council has committed over $1.1 million dollars this year to housing subsidies to improve the affordability of housing for low-income residents. The City also voted to contribute over $3.8 million dollars to social housing repairs. We are committed as a city to doing our part.
“I am joining in the call for the development and implementation of a national housing strategy.” said Mayor Eisenberger, “This is an opportunity for all three levels of government to collaborate in providing affordable housing in our city and across Canada.”
Homelessness and poverty are unacceptable in our city. Together we can make Hamilton the best place to raise a child and age successfully.