Mayors’ Housing Partnerships Task Force

The City of Brantford and County of Brant are rapidly becoming a ‘community of choice’ for individuals, families and students seeking affordable housing options. Over the past several years the demand for housing has outpaced availability and new development, resulting in lower vacancy rates and higher housing costs. It is increasingly difficult for potential home buyers and renters to find suitable options, creating significant impacts across the housing continuum including:

  • delayed home ownership for young families
  • limits on economic growth and labour supply 
  • households spending a high percentage of their income on housing
  • inability for households to transition out of subsidized housing into the private rental market and higher incidence of homelessness

These impacts are compounded by a nationwide opioid crisis and challenges related to untreated mental health or addiction concerns. Suitable housing for some individuals must also include access to treatment and support, with the lack of these options resulting in significant personal and societal cost. Housing affordability and availability is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, the private sector and non-profit community. More housing units are required across the housing continuum, from supportive housing to home ownership, to meet this growing local need.

Acute need for affordable housing in our community

The acute need for more affordable housing in our community, and the positive impact affordable housing stability has on people’s lives cannot be understated. In October 2019, the City’s Housing Master Plan identified the urgent need for close to one thousand housing units to be built in the next 10 years. At present, over 1,700 households are on the community housing wait list. 

How you can help 

There are many ways to get involved and contribute to the Mayors’ Housing Partnerships Task Force action plan. If you are a member of non for profit, faith-based organization or private stakeholder and want to play a critical role in addressing our community’s acute affordable housing crisis, please review the most commonly asked questions section below and connect with the Mayors’ Housing Partnership Task Force by contacting Brad Smith, Corporate Initiatives Coordinator at 519-759-4150 ext. 5442.

Brantford-Brant Affordable Housing Development Mentorship Program

Under the Mayors’ Housing Partnerships Task Force, the Brantford-Brant Affordable Housing Development Mentorship Program aims to connect people with specialized knowledge and skills-sets with those who are looking for this support, in order to develop more affordable housing options in the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

Housing Partnership Task Force Commonly Asked Questions

How much does the cost of housing go up every year in Brantford and the County of Brant?

The Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) Market Rental Reports are published annually for major centres across Canada. Brantford’s Report for 2016 through 2018 can be accessed on the CMHC website.
 
The 2019 individual report for Brantford has not yet been published, however the rental data is available using the Rental Market Data tables available through the CMHC link above.
 
Various statistics about the increase of rental housing costs can be determined by reviewing those reports and the rental market data tables. For example, in 2016 the overall average market rent across all unit types in Brantford-Brant was reported as $833. In 2019 that overall average has increased to $1,017 (about 22% higher than 2016, and 4.7% higher than 2018).

What is the definition of affordable housing?

The guideline for housing affordability is calculated when a household is paying around thirty per cent of their gross household income towards shelter costs (i.e. rent or mortgage charges). In the past, the construction of affordable housing has been subsidized with provincial, federal and municipal funds to help offset initial capital costs and/or provide ongoing operational subsidies to allow tenants to pay a monthly rent that is affordable for their household.

Does developing more affordable housing mean building more homes, reducing prices of existing housing inventory, or both
Housing Services believes that our community thrives when everyone has a place to call home. The City supports programs that provide assistance across the housing spectrum, from emergency and supportive shelters, to affordable rental units, and even a limited program that assists households to achieve the dream of owning their first home.

 
Developing affordable housing requires increasing affordable rental housing supply either through new development, re-development or repurposing. It also requires the support of existing rental housing and providing rental subsidies where possible. The supply of homes for ownership can come in varied forms and supporting more affordable home ownership through non-profit efforts such as Habitat for Humanity can also assist with rental housing supply.

How can I get involved as a Housing Task Force partner
Housing partnerships associated with the Mayor’s Housing Partnerships Task Force are currently being established and actively recruited. Our partners to date include; Nova Vita Domestic Violence Prevention Services, Jaycee Homes, Brantford Native Housing (Hotinohsioni Inc.), Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk, Victoria Park Community Homes, and Hamilton East Kiwanis Non-Profit Homes. If you would like to get involved, please contact Brad Smith, Corporate Initiatives Coordinator at 519-759-4150 ext. 5442.
How will the funds from the sale of the Arrowdale lands support the work of this Housing Task Force
The City’s approved Housing Plan calls for $45-55M as well as additional funding from the CMHC Co-investment fund and debt financing to meet the total requirement of $100-105M in funding over 10 years to build over 500 new affordable housing units in our community. The revenue from the sale of the Arrowdale lands will fund 3 buildings with a total of 140 units, plus and 80-90 units funded from ongoing annual property taxes. That’s affordable housing for over 230 households which will make a huge difference in the quality of life of those who in some cases have waited over 5 years for affordable housing. The Arrowdale sale has provided the necessary means to start meeting the increasing demand for affordable housing in Brantford.
 How many more meetings of the Housing Partnership Task Force are planned to take place?
The Task Force will meet four to five times throughout the year as a larger group. Smaller ‘working groups’ to focus on specific items or areas of the housing sector have also been established. To inquire about joining a Working Group please contact Brad Smith, Corporate Initiatives Coordinator at 519-759-4150 ext. 5442.