National Housing Day has special significance in Hamilton


Published November 21, 2023 at 4:24 pm

tiny homes

With more than 4,000 Hamiltonians accessing homeless-serving programs and very few places for them to call home, tomorrow’s National Housing Day 2023 comes at a most appropriate time.

The City of Hamilton declared homelessness a state of emergency in April 2023 and bumped up its housing-related budget this year by 30 per cent to more than $70 million to try to deal with the rise in people requiring shelter.

It’s not enough.

The Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters (HATS) has been a leading advocate for the homeless for years and its efforts have been found wanting as well, especially after its pilot project to build 20 tiny homes at the City-proposed Strachan Linear Park site was cancelled October 6 because “the investment required was too significant.”

HATS and the City of Hamiton both expressed “deep disappointment” with the decision, as the north end site had the potential to provide much-needed stability, safety, and warmth to unhoused individuals, particularly as the winter months approach.

There is still hope, however, as both organizations are working on identifying other possible sites for a new project, with a target date of mid-2024.

“In Canada, the reality remains stark: too many individuals lack the safety, support and stability of a home. This National Housing Day serves as a poignant reminder that there is still work to be done, communities to uplift, and lives to impact positively,” declared HATS. “Together, we recognize that solutions to housing challenges demand collaboration. We must bridge sectors and governments, cultivating innovative approaches that address these pressing issues. Our commitment to fostering such collaborations has been unwavering, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners who share this vision and dedication.”

“As we commemorate National Housing Day, let us reaffirm our pledge to continue advocating, working, and innovating toward a future where safe and dignified housing is a reality for all.

inthehammer's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising