Affordable housing a homelessness discussed by Lanark County Council
At this week’s virtual session of Lanark County council, the increasing need for affordable housing and resources to address homelessness were on the table, and approval was given for a series of funding initiatives.
At a special afternoon session of the county’s community services committee, Housing Services Manager Shawna Stone brought council up to date on the current pandemic’s effects on the region’s homelessness and affordable-housing fronts.
She pointed out that emergency hotel shelter stays had increased to 179 in 2020, up from 73 the year before. The hot local housing market had also reduced some rent supplement units. Adding to all this was the increased demand for mental health services attributed physical isolation and housing insecurity.
At the full council session later in the afternoon, council approved additional funds of $104,400 in 2021 from reserves for rent and housing supports along with a $100K allotment to enable the county to hire the services of a registered counsellor-psychotherapist through Lanark County Mental Health to help meet the increased need.
Staff was also directed to send out expressions of interest for the creation of new affordable housing projects.