The major cash PM announced for housing in Hamilton? Councillor finds it isn’t new

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Published August 9, 2023 at 10:30 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, above, visits Hamilton to make a joint affordable housing funding announcement with Mayor Andrea Horwath in Hamilton on July 31. COURTESY JUSTIN TRUDEAU VIA TWITTER
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, above, visits Hamilton to make a joint affordable housing funding announcement with Mayor Andrea Horwath in Hamilton on July 31. COURTESY JUSTIN TRUDEAU VIA TWITTER

The recently announced funding of nearly $64 million for affordable housing wasn’t additional or new cash – it was previously approved at least a year earlier and was only made public in a news conference during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Hamilton last week, says a local councillor.

Ward 2 Councillor Cameron Kroetsch said that he had confirmed with City staff that “the funding was approved in the previous term of Council.”

The total funding is broken down as follows: federal government — $44,747,791, the City of Hamilton — $19,726,688.68 and CityHousing Hamilton, the city’s largest social housing provider — $4,361,053. 

“The nuance here is that while the funding was approved during the previous term of Council it hadn’t been part of a formal public announcement until (July 31),” Kroetsch wrote in his post Aug. 3 on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The announcement for the joint funding of nearly $64 million was made on July 31 during Trudeau’s visit. That amount from both Ottawa and the City of Hamilton will go towards building and repairing more than 214 new units of affordable housing in the city, Trudeau and Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath had announced during a press conference last week. 

Mayor Andrea Horwath makes a joint affordable housing funding announcement with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Hamilton on July 31. COURTESY ANDREA HORWATH VIA TWITTER

Mayor Andrea Horwath makes a joint affordable housing funding announcement with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Hamilton on July 31. COURTESY ANDREA HORWATH VIA TWITTER 

Kroetsch said he got the breakdown and the year the funding was approved.

The funding would go to the following four properties:

  • 90 Carling Street (Ward 1): Ninco Developments is in charge of this project. It has 100 units under construction and 10 units are 125 per cent of the average market rent. The federal government approved $35,369,250 in funding in 2021, and in that same year, the City of Hamilton approved $122,632.68 for the project.
  • 104-106 Bay Street North (Ward 2): CityHousing Hamilton is constructing 55 units, 45 of them are rent geared to income (or subsidized housing, such as 30 per cent of a household’s monthly income) and 10 units are average market rent. The federal government approved $5,025,000 in 2022 for the project, the City of Hamilton approved $18,773,640 in 2018 and CityHousing Hamilton approved $4,361,053 in 2018.
  • 219 East Avenue North (Ward 3): The developer is Indwell and the operator is Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing. Thirty-one units have been built and occupied and are rent geared to income at a maximum of 80 per cent average market rent.  The federal government approved $4 million in funding in 2020 and in the same year, the City of Hamilton approved $276,161 in 2020.
  • 32 Clapham Road (Ward 5): Women’s Co-op is building 46 existing units. The building needs brickwork repairs. As a non-profit co-operative, most units are rent geared to income and some are at a maximum of 80 per cent average market rent. The federal government approved $353,541 in June 2022, and in the same year the City approved $554,255.

“This funding will ease pressure on our shelter system and change the lives of Hamilton residents, through support for four Hamilton housing initiatives designed to address the needs of seniors, Indigenous Peoples, women and children fleeing domestic violence, and people experiencing mental health,” said Horwath in a statement on July 31.

Horwath said the federal government’s $45 million funding and a $19.14-million investment from the City of Hamilton “will help accelerate the construction and repair of affordable housing so people of all ages and income levels can continue to call Hamilton home.”

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