UPDATE SEPT. 9:
The federal government says the financial commitment should have read $5.02M not $5.2M as originally issued on July 11, 2019. The number has been corrected for the article:
Ottawa is providing $5.02 million for the redevelopment of the Brock Mission men’s homeless shelter in Peterborough.
Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef made the announcement on Thursday.
The decrepit building on Murray Street was razed in November 2017 and services were relocated to a hall at the nearby site of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Demolition on that church began in January but the wing of the building remains.
Construction of the new shelter was supposed to start last summer, but at the time, the project was more than $3.2 million over budget with costs ballooning to $10.7M. That prompted city council to put the project on hold until costs could be cut.
The project was re-tendered last fall with a redesign as the city made a $5-million application for federal funding.
In April 2019, a fundraising campaign to support the shelter build was more than halfway to its $2M goal at $1.2M.
WATCH: Tent city grows after Peterborough homeless shelter abruptly closes
The redeveloped shelter will provide 15 new affordable units and 30 shelter beds for homeless and at-risk men.
“Addressing housing and homelessness in our community will solve many of the other challenges we face,” stated Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality.
“That’s why our government has invested in Canada’s first 10-year National Housing Strategy. My team and I have been working with several local groups to support building housing locally. Our efforts to reduce poverty and grow the economy are working because we are relying on the expertise of communities.
“We are committed to reducing homelessness by 50 per cent in the next 10 years.”
Thursday’s announcement comes just 10 days after the Warming Room homeless shelter was closed due to renovations at the Murray Street Baptist church, forcing many people to begin tenting on municipal property. Brock Mission formed in 1987 and was a 40-bed shelter. Cameron House opened in 1996 for homeless women.
“I am happy to see this investment in emergency shelter for Peterborough,” said Mayor Diane Therrien.
“We are facing a serious housing crisis and all levels of government must come together to make change. This is an important step in the right direction.”
Bill McNabb, executive director of Brock Mission, says all 15 of the rental housing units will be affordable. Four of the housing units will be accessible as will eight of the shelter beds.
“As a small grassroots charity faced with a big need, the support through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund has made a seemingly impossible task possible,” said McNabb.
“We are so excited and grateful to be able to move forward with a purpose-built facility which includes shelter and supportive housing for some of our most vulnerable homeless citizens, made possible because of the support from CMHC.”
The funding is from the federal government’s $13.2 billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) which was launched in May 2018. The aim is to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing homes over the next decade.
The NHCF also plans to create or repair at least 40,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the shelter project will be held next week with construction to get underway, McNabb told Global News Peterborough.
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