Affordable Housing Development Now Officially in Operation

BRANTFORD – Construction at Brantford’s new supportive housing development on Marlene Avenue is now officially complete, and the units are open for occupancy.

The development features 30 new housing units, which will occupy some of the city’s most vulnerable and chronically homeless citizens.

The project was funded by the City of Brantford in partnership with Ontario’s Home for Good program. The development provides additional ‘wrap-around’ support and assistance to tenants, in addition to housing.

Chair of Brantford’s Social Services Committee, Councillor Dan McCreary, says challenges such as addiction, poor physical or mental health, lack of community or personal support, and limited housing options have contributed to the increased demand for shelter in Brantford. “I’m pleased to see this much-needed development up and running,” McCreary says. “It’s a major accomplishment and a good start towards increasing the city’s affordable housing inventory.”

Wesley, a non-profit organization providing services for people who are at risk of homelessness or living in poverty, will occupy a permanent office in the building, offering counseling for eleven hours a day for those suffering mental health and addiction issues. The organization will also provide help with life skills and job search.

“I am very proud of the work our committee and staff did to make this development a reality, and in turn, the lives of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness better. This unique facility not only provides immediate shelter but also everyday supports to help tenants make major changes to improve their situations, outcomes, and quality of life.”

Councillor Rick Weaver, former Chair, Social Services Committee

To safely celebrate the official opening on Marlene Avenue, while also continuing to comply with COVID-19 physical distancing measures, a small group of city officials gathered to acknowledge the occasion and cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis says financial pressures due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic have made the need to increase the supply of affordable housing more urgent than ever. “I’m very proud that the Marlene Avenue development is now housing some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens, and encouraged about future plans to further build our inventory of affordable housing options across the city,” Mayor Davis says. “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 immediate housing needs.”

The city also 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.