Operational funding for a local transitional housing development is the focus of a council request.
While thanking the province for capital and one-time funds for Gateway House, the city is looking for housing and health staffing support.
Councillor Mark King, who is also chair of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, authored the motion and provided an update on the project.
“The development is about two-thirds complete,” he says. “There are people now living in that site, the old OPP building is now occupied. It is now supervised by staff from the Crisis Centre.”
In commending the province, King noted that no local property taxpayer money has contributed to the build.
“The concern at this point isn’t for the capital money, we have that covered,” he says. “What the concern is, is the actual operating dollars of the Gateway House along with a number of other programs.”
Councillor Scott Robertson says the vast majority of funding for this has to come from the federal and provincial governments.
“There is room for the property taxes to go towards this issue, community safety and well-being, in general. But, there is no way that we are going to levy $7.13 million in property taxes,” he says. “We do not have the revenue tools as a municipality to deal with the depth of this issue.”
Robertson also says the funding needs to be permanent.
There will be 61 units at the Gateway House development once all three phases are complete, including the low-barrier shelter.
Plans call for the trailers to close and be used for overflow if needed.