Ville de Gatineau announces new homelessness and social housing measures
Gatineau city council decided on new measures to address homelessness and promote affordable and social housing at its meeting on July 4. The council agreed to allocate $5 million out of its $23 million surplus fund toward expanding its homeless shelter infrastructure, and earmarked an additional $2.6 million for affordable housing.
As part of its efforts to support the homeless, the council will contribute $403,875 to a new 20-unit transitional housing project called “Gîte Ami Phase 2”. The project will increase the number of housing units offered by the current Gîte Ami facilities on rue Morin. The city also agreed to transfer the land for the project free of charge.
$34,420 will be allocated over the next five years toward the city’s rent supplement program (Programme de supplément au loyer - PSL) and has increased its contribution to approximately $4.3 million for two local housing initiatives: Les apprentis project, which provides housing for people with intellectual disabilities, and Le Toit d'Érica, which provides transitional housing for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
The council has also adopted a new affordable housing strategy that includes active monitoring of housing affordability in the city, maintaining an inventory of affordable housing, supporting the conversion of existing buildings into affordable housing units, acquiring new buildings and land for the construction and preservation of affordable housing, and the continued financing of affordable housing projects. The city’s property transactions policy was also updated in order to be able to provide land free of charge for social and affordable housing, as well as to provide more effective financial support for affordable housing projects.
“We are facing a major housing and homelessness crisis in Gatineau and we need to act together to make a difference,” said Mayor France Bélisle, commenting on the new measures. “This major contribution from the city of Gatineau, which goes beyond its municipal responsibilities, is essential to ensure the health and safety of this vulnerable population. I hope that these decisions send a clear message to the Quebec government that we are committed to finding a solution, and that its role in providing the necessary services is essential.”
For more information about the city’s affordable housing programs and services, go to www.gatineau.ca and click “information and services” then “social housing”.
The city also offers an emergency housing access program, Service d'aide à la recherche d'un logement (SARL), website: www.ohoutaouais.ca. The service can be reached by phone at 819 568-AIDE (2433) or by email at email@example.com.
Photo caption: The current Gîte Ami transitional housing facility at 85 rue Morin. Phase 2 of the project will provide an additional 20 units.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Gîte Ami