Regional Leaders Collaborate to End Homelessness in Peel

For the past few years, the lack of affordable housing in the city has been top of mind for many. Houses are more expensive than ever, rental rates are rising rapidly and low-income residents in desperate need of subsidized housing are sitting on immense waiting lists.

It’s no secret that housing is an issue in Peel, so it’s encouraging to know that the region has plans to address affordable housing and homeless in the Region.

Leaders from public, private, and non-profit organizations came together at Peel Region's Housing and Homelessness Summit on April 4 to discuss ending homelessness in Peel.

"The Region of Peel is recognized as a leader in affordable housing and it's important for us to bring the right people to the table to continue to advocate for innovative housing solutions in Peel," said Regional Councillor and Human Services Section Chair Martin Medeiros.

According to the region, one in five families and individuals live in poverty in Peel. The Region has a Strategic Plan (2015-2035) to improve the quality of life in Peel with a vision to create a "Community for Life."

"Building a Community for Life in Peel must include sustainable affordable housing and we look forward to using the insights from today to help inform our bold 10-year plan to end homelessness and ensure everyone has a home in Peel," Janice Sheehy, the Region of Peel's Commissioner of Human Services, said at the summit.

The 10-year Peel Housing and Homelessness Plan (2014-2024) aims to bring the community together to ultimately increase safe, affordable, accessible and appropriate housing in Peel.

In terms of progress, the city recently welcomed a new affordable housing project.

The summit featured a panel discussion with Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, and Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson on the importance of increasing affordable housing, and a keynote speech from Avi Friedman, Professor of Architecture at McGill University, about innovative and affordable solutions for housing.

Other attendees included senior representatives from all levels of government, not-for-profit housing providers and developers, not-for-profit service organizations, and residents.

In 2016, 14,861 people used emergency homeless shelters. As of July 2016, the average wait time for subsidized housing on Peel's centralized waiting list is 6.42 years. As Peel grows by almost 20,000 new residents per year, the demand is high for affordable housing.

The Region has stated that a longer term review for homelessness is underway.

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