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County receives $1.5-million grant to help combat homelessness

The proposed 2022 housing budget includes the $1.5 million in Reaching Home funding, but will not impact the municipal tax levy
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Keegan Kozolanka/GuelphToday file photo

WELLINGTON COUNTY - The County of Wellington has received $1.5 million of funding from the federal government’s reaching home funding grant. 

At Wednesday’s meeting, the social services committee received information regarding a $1.5 million funding from the Reaching Home Funding grant. This funding was a part of a Fall 2020 commitment by the federal government for $299.4 million to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help prevent at-risk Canadians from becoming homeless. 

The proposed 2022 county housing budget includes the $1.5 million in Reaching Home funding. It will be directed to new programs and will not impact the municipal tax levy.

A small portion of the funding has been committed to operational needs in the homeless serving system, however, the majority of the funding is being dedicated to capital commitments. 

"At the beginning of the month, staff released an RFP for community proponents to apply for this Reaching Home funding to support the capital needs of a supportive or transitional housing project that will help our community reach its goal of ending chronic homelessness.The RFP is currently live online, so the funding has not been allocated to a project at this point," explained Mark Poste, county's director of housing, in an email. 

"Just a note, the RFP is not necessarily just for the creation of transitional housing, it could also be used for the creation of permanent supportive housing." 

Staff will be putting the funding out to the community in a request for proposal (RFP), ultimately, asking community proponents to sign up and come up with ideas on what can be done with the funding in regards to transitional housing or permanent supportive housing.

Eligibility requirements are clarified in the RFP and it can be found on the County’s bids and tenders page.

There have been 12 requests for details as of Thursday.

Staff expect to review the results of the RFP and provide recommendations to committee and council for consideration of funding commitments in February or March. 

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