Michaels House

 

In November 2013, County of Wellington Council approved the allocation of $600,000 from the Investment in              affordable Housing (IAH) in Ontario Programme funding to a new rental construction project. The capital funding was awarded and an agreement was signed on March 14, 2014 with Michael House Pregnancy Care Centre in Guelph. The agreement was for Michael House to provide safe and supported housing units to its clients: Pregnant or parenting young women, their infants and children.

The affordable housing project located at 187 Bristol Street in Guelph, consists of eight 2-bedroom units for mothers, their infants and children who, in most instances, will move into the apartments from Michael House's existing residential programme in Guelph. While living at Michael House, the women will be provided with supports and guidance to make plans for their futures. These supports may include acquiring new parenting and life skills, returning to school, seeking employment, and connecting to community services. A large common space and teaching kitchen is located in the building for use by residents. A ninth unit houses on-site "intentional neighbours" two female volunteers that also participate in the supports and provide guidance to the residents. Substantial completion of the project was achieved on September 25, 2015 and the first tenants moved in on October 5, 2015. 

Additional Rental Assistance - Supported Rent Supplement

Early on in the development of the Michael House affordable housing project, it was identified that a majority of the identified client base (young pregnant or parenting mothers) would require substantially lower rents than the rents set at 80% of the average market rent as required under the Investment in Affordable Housing in Ontario Programme. In order to address the need for additional rental assistance, Housing Services agreed to support these eight units with rent supplements under a separate programme with operating funding. To best deliver these rent supplements, Housing Services staff developed a new supported rent supplement programme called the Community Agency Supported Unit (CASU) programme. This initiative is very similar to the Community Agency Delivery programme (CAD) which is focused on housing stability, with differences relating to on-site supports which are also being provided

The CASU programme provides ongoing rent support funding to agencies that are able to provide safe, appropriate housing to their clients, as well as support services to help them address complex housing needs. The CASU programme is funded through Federal/Provincial funding allocated to Rent Supplements under the original Investment in Affordable Housing programme. Michael House Pregnancy Care Centre is the first community agency to be signed on to this programme, and Housing Services staff are looking forward to expanding this rent support model to other agencies in our community and the individuals they serve, subject to availability of funding.

 

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