Sault gets new housing program for victims of domestic violence

Sault Ste. Marie is one of 22 communities chosen for the pilot project 

Sep 12, 2016 11:00 AM by: Donna Hopper
Updated Sep 12, 2016 11:07 AM
Sault Ste. Marie was selected as one of only 22 communities in the province to take part in the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot program, the Ontario Ministry of Housing announced last week.
The city will receive $420,000 in funding to support the two-year pilot project.
This new program will assist area victims of violence by hastening the housing process.
It will also provide more housing options for women to choose from, including the possibly of moving closer to support networks, and the ability to choose a neighbourhood they feel safe and comfortable in, said Sharon Reid, Women in Crisis director of community relations.
Those chosen to participate in the program are encouraged to actively seek housing that suits them but fits within the funding budget allotted to them, she explained.
Participants can remain living in the unit for the duration of the current pilot project, and as long as the government maintains the program should it be extended.
Should the program be canceled, residents would be given ample notification and be relocated to another housing unit, Reid said.
“An additional and significant improvement [over existing housing programs] is that instead of waiting for a call about an available apartment, victims of domestic violence who are offered this program can take matters into their own hands and find a place that works for them,” she said. “Of course, this also depends on how many apartments are available that are also affordable.”
“I believe the fact that Sault Ste. Marie was chosen speaks to both the work [the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Programs Division] did to be successful in their application for this funding, as well as the dire need for it in our community.”
A news release regarding the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot program issued by the Ontario Ministry of Housing follows.
Ontario has selected 22 communities across the province to receive funding over the next two years as part of the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot program.
The new investment complements the commitments made through Ontario's recent Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy update, and supports the province's goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years.
Participating communities will have the flexibility to design and implement their own local portable housing benefit programs for survivors of domestic violence who are approved under the Special Priority Policy.
Based on the outcomes of the pilot, the province will consider ways to enhance the program and extend the portable housing benefit to other communities.
The governments of Canada and Ontario have committed funding to the following communities:
    •    Brantford - $1,056,000
    •    Chatham-Kent - $150,000
    •    Cornwall - $1,642,091
    •    Halton - $876,000
    •    Hamilton - $1,200,000
    •    Kenora - $924,000
    •    Kingston - $330,000
    •    Lambton - $103,950
    •    London - $1,500,000
    •    Niagara - $652,476
    •    Norfolk - $237,600
    •    Ottawa - $3,837,026
    •    Peel - $1,001,000
    •    Prescott and Russell - $240,000
    •    Renfrew/Lanark - $448,470
    •    Sault Ste. Marie - $420,000
    •    Stratford - $353,600
    •    Thunder Bay - $633,600
    •    Toronto - $3,985,575
    •    Waterloo - $148,549
    •    Wellington - $459,800
    •    Windsor - $406,800