Today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced a $5.02 million financial commitment from the federal government for the redevelopment of the Brock Mission.
“Addressing housing and homelessness in our community will solve many of the other challenges we face. That’s why our government has invested in Canada’s first 10-year National Housing Strategy,” said Monsef. “My team and I have been working with several local groups to support building housing locally. Today, I’m happy to announce that the Brock Mission is receiving a significant boost to build 30 new shelter beds and 15 new affordable housing units for homeless and at-risk men. Our efforts to reduce poverty and grow the economy are working because we are relying on the expertise of communities. We are committed to reducing homelessness by 50 per cent in the next 10 years.”
With this commitment by the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), a pillar initiative of the National Housing Strategy (NHS), and with the support of other partners, including the Province of Ontario and the City of Peterborough, the redevelopment of the Brock Mission is expected to begin as early as this month and be completed in 2020.
“I am happy to see this investment in emergency shelter for Peterborough,” said City of Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien. “We are facing a serious housing crisis and all levels of government must come together to make change. This is an important step in the right direction.”
The Brock Mission is a non-profit organization formed in 1987 to provide shelter for homeless adult males. A second site, Cameron House, was added in 1996 to provide short-term emergency shelter for homeless women. The initial structure for the Brock Mission was demolished in 2017 to re-develop the shelter into a more functional, expanded three-storey facility that would allow for accessibility and energy efficiency features, among other improvements.
‘We are very grateful for the support that MP Maryam Monsef and her office have given our redevelopment project,” said Bill McNabb, Executive Director of the Brock Mission. “The investment from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund has enabled us to finally move forward on a much needed purpose-built facility that offers appropriate Housing First shelter services and supportive housing to some of our most vulnerable homeless citizens.”
Today’s announcement is part of the Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
Locally, in addition to today’s announcement, more than $7 million has been invested to help build or renovate more than 635 units and subsidize rental costs for an additional 797 units providing homes for 1,432 families in Peterborough-Kawartha.
As part of the NHS, Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy includes a commitment of $2.2 billion over 10 years to tackle homelessness. By 2021–22, this will double annual investments compared to 2015–16.
Affordable housing is one of the aspects of the federal government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy builds on the progress that has been made so far, which has seen 825,000 Canadians lifted out of poverty. In Peterborough-Kawartha, the families of 19,990 children receive the tax-free Canada Child Benefit every month, the age of retirement for seniors was restored from 67 to 65 and both the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security have been increased, and the Canada Workers Tax Benefit has been introduced. These are some of the investments that have helped boost our economy and drive unemployment to historic lows.
- All 15 of the Brock Mission redevelopment’s rental housing units will be affordable.
- The new building aims to achieve energy savings and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 27% compared to the National Energy Code for Buildings 2015.
- Four of the housing units will be accessible, as will eight of the shelter beds.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
- Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- Since 2015, Canadians have created more than 1 million jobs and unemployment is at historic lows.
- In Peterborough-Kawartha, the unemployment rate has been cut by nearly 50 per cent since the previous government and it was 5.3% in June 2019.