PM Trudeau Meets with Guelph Advocates Fighting Homelessness

Fighting homelessness, and creating affordable housing, has been a fairly dominant topic for the last several years, and a lot of progress has been made lately in Guelph. Perhaps that success is what drew the attention of the Prime Minister of Canada as today, Justin Trudeau joined Lloyd Longfield and several local community leaders to talk about the efforts being made to eliminate chronic homelessness in the Royal City.

“With housing costs on the rise, many Canadian families are having trouble finding an affordable place to live,” Trudeau said in a statement released after the meeting. “That’s why Budget 2021 continues our hard work to create more safe and affordable housing options for Canadians, and finds real solutions to the challenges people are facing.

“By investing in safe and affordable housing, we get closer to our goal of ending chronic homelessness, create new jobs, grow the middle class, and help families in communities across Ontario get ahead,” Trudeau added.

The meeting was closed to the media, but a press release sent out Monday afternoon said that the group discussed the development of the Silver Maple Seniors community, which received funds from the Federal government last month, and they also discussed efforts to house women and children fleeing domestic abuse and violence, as well as getting more support for newcomers and Indigenous peoples.

Mayor Cam Guthrie, and Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton Guelph took part in the meeting along with representatives from the Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, Guelph Community Health Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, the Welcome In Drop In Centre, Kindle Communities, Wyndham House, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, and St. Joseph’s Housing Corporation.

“Guelph collaboration around housing projects is key to our progress to date and key to eliminating homelessness in the next two years,” said Guelph MP Longfield. “The diversity of solutions comes from diverse input and partnerships with the federal government and municipal councils in Guelph and Wellington County. Budget 2021 continues our focus on helping to find a place to call home for everyone in Guelph Wellington.”

According to the Federal government, the budget for the 2021/2022 fiscal year includes measures that will speed up construction for over 35,000 projects, a pilot program to support veterans with rent supplements, financial assistance for low income women and children trying to escape domestic violence, and more investment in the rapid housing initiative.

Housing has been moving quite rapidly here in Guelph lately. Along with the Silver Maple development, city council voted this month for the re-zoning of the Parkview Motel to allow for supportive housing there after the purchase of the property by the Welcome In Drop In Centre was closed. A decision on the zoning for the Kindle Community in the west end is expected soon, and a re-zoning application for a new Wellington County shelter at 65 Delhi Street will be coming to council in May.

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