Community Counselling & Resource Centre

City boosting rent supplements in Peterborough by 15% next year

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2017/11/30/city-boosting-rent-supplements-in-peterborough-by-15-next-year

November 30th, 2017

Councillors boosted the city's rent supplement program on their last evening of 2018 budget talks on Wednesday night.

First they approved a plan to boost the rent supplements for the housing division by 15 per cent - or $262,921 - for a total of just over $2 million.

That money is meant to pay a portion of low-income tenants' rent directly to their landlords as a way of preventing eviction.

Next they approved a separate plan to put $25,000 into a separate rent supplement fund for homeless people (as opposed to those who are housed but in danger of eviction).

The $25,000 boost won't increase taxes: it's coming from the city's general contingency fund.

The money is expected to fund the Housing First program, which is run by the city's social services department.

Linda Mitchelson, the city's social services manager, said many of those served by the Housing First program are homeless people who have mental health issues.

The $25,000 for Housing First hadn't been in the city's draft budget, but councillors decided they wanted to add it.

Coun. Diane Therrien said she was happy to support increases to rent supplement funds.

"We do have a housing crisis, in the community - rents are going up, wages are not going up," she said. "People are struggling.... I'd like to see more money in it (the rent supplement fund)."

Other plans were also made during the last evening of 2018 budget talks Wednesday: