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Ontario provides $1.9M to support Peterborough overflow shelter, affordable housing

Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith with Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien announced $1.9M for the city's overflow shelter.

The Ontario government is providing more than $1.9 million in social services funding for the City of Peterborough’s overflow shelter.

On Friday, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith said $1,924,741 will support the city’s overflow shelter with cleaning, staffing, food and personal protective equipment.

The announcement includes capital funding to create supportive and affordable housing units for long-term housing solutions.

Read more: Temporary homeless shelter proposed at Peterborough Community Services building on Wolfe St.

“COVID-19 has presented some unique challenges for our most vulnerable,” said Smith. “I am proud to announce that the City of Peterborough will receive funding to support the overflow shelter.

“We still face some longer-term challenges such as access to affordable housing. This is another step forward in building supportive and accessible housing in our community.”

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Mayor Diane Therrien says the additional investment in housing and the shelter system is “greatly needed.”

“This funding will improve access to safe shelter for some of Peterborough’s most vulnerable residents while also creating opportunities for more people to move into secure affordable housing,” she stated.

“The City of Peterborough thanks the Government of Ontario for recognizing these challenges and helping municipalities by providing this much needed investment.”

The provincial funding is part of the government’s $510-million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people, said Smith.

Funding will be delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund, which was launched in March, and will go towards protecting and supporting homeless shelter staff and residents, creating or renovating over 1,500 housing units, expanding rent support programs and creating longer-term housing solutions.

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Read more: Ontario rent freeze could mean more evictions, critics say

The Social Services Relief Fund is part of the up to $4 billion being provided to Ontario municipalities under the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. It will help municipalities protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario while delivering critical public services, such as public transit and shelters, as the province continues down the path of economic recovery.

In September, the Ontario government passed the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, which freezes rent in 2021 for the vast majority of Ontario’s 1.7 million renters in both rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units.