Yesterday, the City is pleased to announce that occupancy of the new supportive housing development on Marlene Ave, featuring 30 new housing units will begin June 1, 2020. The studio apartments will house 30 of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Funded by the City in partnership with the province’s Homes for Good program, this development is unique in that in addition to emergency housing, it will also provide “wrap-around” supports and assistance to tenants.
Wesley, a non-profit organization that provides services for people who are at risk of homelessness or living in poverty, will occupy a permanent office in the building, offering 11 hours a day of counselling “ mental health and addiction issues, and provide help with life skills training to assist tenants attain employment. To safely mark the official opening of the Marlene Ave development while complying with COVID-19 protective measures still in place, the City plans to release a video highlighting the unique features of the build, and how tenants will benefit from the ongoing support services that will be in place.
In response to an unexpected surge in demand for emergency shelter services last October, and to ensure emergency shelter was made available to those in need during the winter months, in December 2019, the City opened a Temporary Winter Emergency Shelter at 180 Greenwich Street, with the intention that some individuals seeking temporary shelter at this facility would be housed at the Marlene Ave development upon its completion. Operations at the 180 Greenwich St. Temporary Shelter will conclude on May 29th, 2020, coinciding with when the Marlene Ave development is completed.
In anticipation of continued need, the City’s Health and Human Services staff has also been working closely with our partner agencies to increase the City’s capacity for emergency shelter beds within our existing Emergency Shelter network at Rosewood House and the Salvation Army, ensuring that those who still required the use of the temporary shelter once 180 Greenwich closed, could transition to other shelter providers within the community.
In October 2019, Brantford City Council approved the City’s Social Housing Master Plan that identified the requirement to build one thousand housing units over the next 10 years to meet increased demand in our community. Estimated at an unbudgeted $100 million, proceeds from the sale of the Arrowdale lands will play a critical role in achieving the goal to meet demand over the next decade. The proceeds from the future land sale combined with ongoing tax revenues, creative financial planning, partnerships with non-profit housing sectors and federal and provincial funding streams have the potential to result in over 470 units of affordable, sustainable, mixed income housing options for the residents of Brantford and Brant over the next 10 years.
“In light of financial pressures due to the economic fallout of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s need to increase our supply of affordable housing is more urgent than ever,” said Mayor Kevin Davis. “I’m very excited that the Marlene Ave development will be available for occupancy next week and encouraged about future plans to further build our inventory of affordable housing options across the city. Through our Housing Partnership Task Force, the City will continue to work with our partners to find innovative and creative solutions to our community’s ongoing housing needs.”
For those seeking emergency shelter:
It is important that people seeking emergency shelter contact the City’s Social Services Support Centre directly at 519-759-7009. Individuals requiring shelter during the evenings and weekends should call the Salvation Army at 519-753-4193.
To learn more about emergency shelter services, please visit the City’s website at brantford.ca/EmergencyShelters. The City’s Social Services Support Centre and the Salvation Army are the preferred points of entry to emergency shelter support services and have the most current and accurate information on bed availability.
Source: Media Release from Brantford.ca