Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Hamilton has launched the Housing and Homelessness Dashboard, a new tool to track efforts to address housing shortages and create solutions to homelessness.
Some of the statistics collected show in March:
- 1,596 people were actively experiencing homelessness in the city, having used the shelter system at least once in the three months prior.
- 248 individuals were newly experiencing homelessness, and 226 individuals exited the homeless-serving system.
- From January-March 2022, 87 individuals were housed from homelessness directly through City-funded homelessness programs. In 2021, 382 individuals were housed from homelessness directly through City-funded homelessness programs.
- There are 693 beds in Hamilton’s emergency shelter system.
“Housing affordability, community housing, homelessness and shelter use are some of the most important metrics we track. This dedicated effort to continuously report on and combine housing and homelessness data points while making it readily accessible supports our commitments to transparency, continuous improvement and problem-solving on an issue as important as housing,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.
Statistics will be used to guide strategies including the Point in Time Connection and helps to ensure available resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to meet Hamilton’s goal that everyone has a home.
The city has a comprehensive Housing and Homelessness Strategy, which is guided by the Council approved 10-year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan. In Hamilton’s Systems Planning Framework: Coming Together to End Homelessness, our community has laid out a roadmap for ending chronic homelessness by 2025. The City’s Housing Services Division administers a gross operating budget of approximately $120 million annually, including an average of $54 million in annual municipal investments to advance these objectives:
- Investment and leadership of coordinated access to an integrated system of homelessness supports grounded in Housing First
- Manage Access to Housing through preservation of units and housing subsidy to get and keep people housed
- Accelerate building community housing units and bringing units back online to maintain and increasing the supply of affordable housing.
“As we continue to work together with federal and provincial ministry partners, and our local community, this dashboard will support greater transparency and understanding of how our systems are functioning, our local pressures, and enhance data-informed actions,” said Angie Burden, general manager, healthy and safe communities.
In 2022 Hamilton increased funding through the following programs to repair and preserve Hamilton’s community housing units:
- $35.7 million annually which is a $1.8 million increase over 2021 towards supporting housing providers for operating costs.
- $1.26 million boost in dedicated annual funding for a total of $111 million municipal contribution 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.