Proposed 2022 Budget Delivers Results for Housing Services

$280-million gross annual operating budget and $250 million in total gross capital planned over the next decade

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens; Ward 2 Councillor Fabio Costante; Jelena Payne, Commissioner, Human & Health Services; and Renée Thibert, President, Family Services Windsor-Essex Board of Directors, officially unveiled a new affordable housing project today. Located on Windsor’s west side, 251 Watkins Street is a $1,167,625 project of which $840,000 was funded through a grant from the Government of Ontario’s Investment in Affordable Housing fund. This new site will support 10 at-risk youth in six units and will be operated in partnership with Family Services Windsor-Essex (FSWE).

The FSWE Youth Supportive Housing Demonstration Project introduces innovation into the affordable housing market by building the first modular container housing in the Windsor area with accessible and universal design components. This project will create a six-unit apartment complex to house 10 youth, ages 16 to 24, and will employ many of the principles of a Housing First for Youth program. Built by NOW Housing, the units will be technologically advanced, equipped with access to the internet and computer controlled and monitored thermostats; and accessible by an electronic card swipe, eliminating the need for keys. Project completion is anticipated prior to the end of 2021.

The proposed 2022 City budget includes $112,000 in operating funding, which will be required to offer services for youth across multiple sites, including the Watkins property.

The single largest expense included in the 2022 gross operating budget is Windsor’s Human & Health Services Division. As the regional Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, administration proposes investments of nearly $280 million in housing, supports for individuals experiencing homelessness, children’s services, long-term care and social services.

The total gross capital planned spending, including all grants and other funding for social services, and community and affordable housing over the next decade, is more than $250 million. This includes the historic planned investment of over $170 million to repair and renew housing units managed by the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation.

Additional Housing and Human Services highlights for 2022 Budget:

  • 108 new affordable and supportive housing units in our community.
  • $841,000 in operating funding for new supportive housing units and the new emergency shelter for women and families.
  • Addition of a Full-time Coordinator of Housing Administration & Development.
  • Over $640,000 in COVID-19-related operating funding pressures.
  • 5 permanent Housing First Workers, who provide long-term wraparound supports to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to obtain and maintain housing.
  • 2 Homelessness Street Outreach Workers, who play a paramount role in ensuring that any person who is currently isolated or disconnected from community services or supports can get reconnected in a respectful and safe manner.
  • Housing Hub Glos Arch + Eng has been retained as the consultant to explore concepts for a housing hub, conduct community consultations, and develop a feasibility study for consideration.
  • Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4) The H4 is a valuable asset in the community, providing actionable and rapid supports to assist in transitioning persons from homelessness into long-term housing with wraparound supports.

Quotes:

“The proposed budget Delivers Results like never before for our social service programs and capital spending. We are making investments in new units, refurbishing existing properties, and expanding our programming for those experiencing homelessness. The pandemic exposed the cracks in our system, and the City of Windsor has stepped in, working with community partners and service organizations to deliver meaningful improvements across the board. The proposed 2022 City budget will continue to deliver results and support those most vulnerable in our community.”
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

"There is a real need for greater access to housing in our community, and equally important in some cases to include housing with supports. This past year alone, millions have been spent to support existing shelters, upgrades to our current housing stock, and construction on new builds throughout our city. Although we still have a long way to go, we have made progress, and today is an example of that. I am proud of our partnership with Family Services Windsor-Essex and look forward to continuing this important work in our community."
Councillor Fabio Costante, Ward 2

“The solution to homelessness is a home, and we recognize that some individuals will require additional supports to continue to be successfully housed. Our partnership with Family Services Windsor-Essex for the Watkins project in particular provides at-risk youth a safe and supported place to live. The investments in social services are proposed to enhance the quality of life for all residents and provide the supports required to reach their full potential.”
- Jelena Payne, Commissioner of Human & Health Services, City of Windsor

“Family Services Windsor-Essex is very proud to lead the development of the Watkins supportive housing units with the city of Windsor. This project is another step towards ensuring that no youth in the city experience homelessness. We recognize that housing alone is not enough to ensure our youth are successful. We appreciate the investments by City Council and the collaborative efforts of our community partners to ensure the appropriate supports are in place to enable them to thrive.”
- R
enée Thibert, President, Family Services Windsor-Essex Board of Directors

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