Today Lanark County Council approved the 2018/2019 Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) Investment Plan. At the community services committee meeting earlier this month, Social Housing Manager Sandy Grey explained the annual provincial funding aims to “prevent, address and reduce homelessness by improving access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing that is linked to flexible support services based on peoples’ needs.”
Local service managers, such as the county, have flexibility to use the funds to address local needs and are required to submit a plan each year.
The allocation for this year is $1,276,996 and will be increased to $1.3 million for 2019-2020.
There are four service categories applicable to the CHPI program, including
- emergency shelter solutions,
- housing with related supports,
- services and supports, and
- homelessness prevention services.
The county’s plan aligns with priorities it has identified in its 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.
For emergency shelter solutions it provides $45,000 for emergency hotel stays and a contact with Victim Services to provide after-hours social services.
The housing with related supports category includes the cost of domiciliary hostels, as well as deposits for rent and utilities. The hostels are permanent accommodation for residents who require assistance with activities of daily living.
There are currently contracts with providers in Smiths Falls, Montague, Drummond/North Elmsley and Carleton Place, and the budget is $520,000.
The services and supports category includes the cost of a full-time staff person, minor home repair (up to $5,000 per applicant) for necessary repairs to allow people to remain in their homes, hoarding expenses, a community/public awareness event and emergency supports for homeless people. The budget is $159,297.
Homelessness prevention services includes eviction-prevention services such as payment for rental and utility arrears. The budget for this category is $425,000.