Midhurst/ June 28, 2017 – The County of Simcoe published its third annual report card, entitled Housing Our Future: 2016 Annual Report, to measure and evaluate achievements during the third year of implementing recommendations contained in Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy.
"Since 2014, we've created 544 new affordable housing units in Simcoe County," said Warden Gerry Marshall. "While we still have work to do to achieve our target of 2,685 units by 2024, including finding creative funding and build opportunities, together with our partners at the province, our municipalities, the private and not-for-profit sectors, we're making an impact through a shared commitment to putting a roof over the heads of all our residents."
The report card was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Housing and uses a Results-Based Accountability (RBA) framework to evaluate population level and performance level outcomes required to achieve community well-being and policy/program effectiveness towards achievement of the Strategy's five key themes and 31 priority actions.
Key achievements from year three are outlined below. The full report card is available at www.simcoe.ca/ourahhps.
Strategic Theme 1: Strong Governance and Leadership
- Successfully launched new County-funded Secondary Suites and Rent Subsidy programs
- Issued a 2016 Call for Proposals to solicit municipal interest in affordable housing development in partnership with Simcoe County Housing Corporation, resulting in 11 offered sites for affordable housing development, in six different municipalities
- Completed an affordable housing project in Barrie (Brooks Street) that featured an expansion of 54 one-bedroom units designed for seniors, which included accessibility features and energy efficient heating and lighting
- Approved increase in annual budget from $100K to $200K annually for the provision of development charge rebates, beginning 2017
Strategic Theme 2: Achieve Affordable Housing Targets
- 544 new units created since the Strategy was approved
- 75 affordable rental units were completed in 2016
- 15 new secondary suites completed with County/Provincial funding during 2016
- 124 secondary suites were created without government funding in 2016
- 103 additional rent supplement units were created in 2016
- 20 households assisted with down-payments through the Homeownership program during 2016
- More than 300 units of affordable rental development are in various stages of the construction process in six different communities across the County
Strategic Theme 3: Protect Existing Public Assets
- $7.9 million invested in maintaining social housing assets in County owned and non-profit housing in 2016
- In 2016, $1.6 million was issued through provider loans to assist mandated social housing providers with urgent capital repairs. Additionally, Federal-Provincial funding was utilized to support capital repairs for four providers
Strategic Theme 4: Plan for the Public Good
- County continues to provide development charges and property tax incentives for affordable housing development
- A Municipal Housing Tools and Incentives Best Practices Information Sheet was developed to provide information to support municipal levels of government within the County to partner with the private and non-for-profit sectors in the creation of new affordable rental housing
- Developed new tracking mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on the development of privately created Secondary Suites
Strategic Theme 5: Create an Integrated Service Model for Housing and Supports
- 707 households were successful in retaining their housing at six-month follow-up
- 2,637 households assisted with funding for housing retention for rent and utility arrears
- 168 households have received assistance with home repairs and accessibility modifications since 2014, including 59 households in 2015
- 119 households assisted with transitional housing
As the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager for this region, the County of Simcoe is responsible for developing and implementing the Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy. The Strategy was approved by County Council in 2014.
The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
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