BRANTFORD – Brantford’s latest supportive housing project on Marlene Avenue is ready for occupancy as of June 1st. The new development includes 30 studio apartment units geared to the city’s most vulnerable citizens.
The development was funded by the City of Brantford in partnership with the province’s Homes for Good program. In addition to emergency housing, it will provide “wrap-around” supports and assistance to tenants.
Wesley, a non-profit organization providing services for those at risk of homelessness or living in poverty, will occupy a permanent office in the building. The organization will offer counseling in mental health and addiction issues, as well as provide help with life skills training to assist tenants to attain employment.
An unexpected surge in demand for emergency shelter services in late 2019 prompted the city to open the Temporary Winter Emergency Shelter in the former police station at 180 Greenwich Street until the construction on Marlene Avenue was complete.
The city says Health and Human Services Department staff have also been working closely with partner agencies to increase the capacity for shelter beds within the existing network at Rosewood House and the Salvation Army. Clients currently using the services of the temporary shelter are being transitioned to other shelter providers within the community.
Brantford’s Social Housing Master Plan includes the need to build one thousand affordable housing units over the next ten years to meet increased demand in the community. The city plans to fund the estimated $100 million required for the build through proceeds of the sale of the Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course and the resulting ongoing tax revenues. In addition to the Arrowdale sale, the city says, creative financial planning, partnerships with non-profit housing sectors, and federal and provincial funding will help them meet the goal.
“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,” says 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.”
Those seeking emergency shelter on weekdays during business hours are encouraged to contact the city’s Social Services Support Centre at 519-759-7009. During the evenings and weekends, those in need of shelter can call the Salvation Army at 519-753-4193.