At their September 28 meeting, County Council received updates regarding Housing and Homelessness initiatives as part of a report on Strategic Priorities. In 2019, Council made ‘Facilitating Safe and Affordable Housing’ the top priority for their term of office.
Highlights of the 2019-2022 report by Lynn Chenier, Director of Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Social Services included:
- The Homelessness Enumeration project was completed to identify individuals who are homeless in the community. This led to the creation of a “by-name” list which allows caseworkers to work with those listed on a regular basis to try to assist them to secure housing and provide other supports.
- $680,000 has been allocated to Emergency Shelter, including financial support for warming centres in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington Counties.
- 25 – 30 transitional housing units are available annually through the Local Housing Corporation and partnerships with private landlords.
- 8 transitional housing beds were created in 2021 in partnership with Lennox & Addington Interval House, to support youth experiencing homelessness.
- 8 new affordable housing units are currently being built which will add to the 413 rent geared to income units directly owned by PELASS.
- 1718 clients have been assisted through the Homelessness Prevention Benefit which helps individuals and families to remain housed or secure accommodation.
Past Warden Isbester stated, “Housing is a person’s most basic need and without that how can we expect people to get ahead?” She went on to say, “County Council is very supportive of these housing and homelessness initiatives and very proud that PELASS is playing a leadership role in these important projects for our residents.”