Thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the Centre, Hamilton East Kiwanis Non-Profit Homes and Victoria Park Community Homes are joining forces on a housing development that will see 367 affordable rental units built in Hamilton, Ont. They are experimenting with a new collaborative model that will allow smaller and niche-housing providers to build on their strengths and capacities to better compete with the private sector.
When we think of Newfoundland and Labrador, we have to think in terms of rural vs. urban. In St. John’s (urban), there are services along the housing continuum. Although there are gaps in services, for example, there is no emergency shelter that will take you if you’re a high-need client in active addiction, the services from emergency shelter to coop, or social housing exist. However, a lot of organizations are running beyond their organizational capacity because they don’t have access to adequate funding.
Land trusts provide a holistic approach to community building that is often missed in traditional development frameworks. A complementary sector response to Ottawa’s housing crisis, the land trust model will unite several smaller housing providers under one voice where expertise and skills will be shared and disseminated more quickly. The perpetual affordability of the land will allow smaller housing providers to leverage their surpluses for capital repairs, renewal, and redevelopment.
Too often over the past 25 years, official policies have prevented our sector from adequately responding to the challenges that society’s evolution brought to housing. The very real consequences of this inability have been the emergence of mass homelessness, a dramatic rise in rents and the spread of unbridled real estate speculation with disastrous social and financial consequences for the vast majority.