Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday April 7, 2017
Council shifts $50M anti-poverty plan into an affordable housing initiative
Hamilton’s $50-million anti-poverty plan has transformed into an affordable housing plan.
City council approved Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s motion almost a year ago to set aside $30 million for a decade of unspecified measures to combat poverty and $20 million to fix or grow Hamilton’s social housing stock.
The money will come from future hydro utility dividends as well as Hamilton’s Future Fund.
City health and social services staff consulted local advocacy groups and experts on how best to spend the cash and presented a wide-ranging set of proposals to councillors Wednesday, including “wraparound” support for poverty-stricken single parents, “portable” rents for those seeking affordable housing and special funding for the urban aboriginal community.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who initially pitched reserving $30 million for a menu of poverty-fighting measures, said he understands councillors want to see a “cleaner, simpler” direction on how to spend the “historic” investment over a decade.
He seconded Collins’ motion, calling the focused housing approach a “fantastic step forward for this community.”
Coun. Matthew Green said he would only support the radical shift in strategy if the original unique plan to allocate $10 million for indigenous-led poverty-fighting initiatives was maintained in some way. “This is a top priority for me,” he said. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)