Today mark’s National Housing Day. National Housing Day is a call to reflect on the challenges that too many Canadians continue to face in accessing safe and affordable housing.
We know that housing service agencies want the community to know where they can find help. Rentsafe Owen Sound has put together this video on where to find help. Contact 211 for local housing services.
- Indigenous Housing Partnership with Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation has started its Tiny Home demonstration project. This is a unique opportunity to pilot an innovative housing solution with a First Nations Community.
- Giiwe Housing Sharing Circle will be held on Dec 8th, 2021, 10am, online. Invitations will be sent to partner agencies. Contact Diane Giroux for details, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Vital Signs Conversation on Housing: you are invited to join a World Cafe style forum hosted by the Community Foundation Grey Bruce on December 9th, 4-6pm. Register here.
- Rentsafe in Owen Sound Landlord Survey has closed and results are being analyzed. A Tenant Survey will be circulated soon as part of this research.
- Precarious Living Series follows the Precarious Employment 2021 Report by the Four County Labour Market Planning Board on Dec 6th. The research report features 10 stories and 5 videos of people who are working and living precariously. Housing is a major challenge for people who are trying to stabilize their lives.
HOUSING UTILITY SUPPORTS
- The Winter Disconnection Ban started and runs until April 30th, 2022.
- Electricity and gas distributors are banned from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment from November 15 to April 30.
- Electricity and gas distributors have until December 1 to reconnect residential customers who were disconnected for non-payment before November 15.
- Electricity distributors may not install load control devices (devices that limit how much electricity is supplied to a home) on homes from November 15 to April 30.
- Electricity and gas distributors can continue to charge late payment fees on past due amounts during the winter disconnection ban period.
- It is a tenant’s responsibility to pay an electricity or natural gas bill on time. It is recommended that a tenant make regular payments throughout the ban. If they can’t, the most important thing to do is to stay in contact with their electricity or gas distributor and make payment arrangements, or see if they qualify for financial assistance.
- For more information on assistance programs for low income families, please visit:https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and…/help-low-income-consumers
- The eligibility criteria for LEAP has been temporarily changed for 2021. The following are guidelines that agencies should consider in screening applications:
- To be eligible for LEAP EFA, the applicant still needs to be in arrears but does not need to be in threat of disconnection or have been disconnected; and
- The limitation on receiving LEAP EFA only once per year is waived; however, the total amount received by a household may not exceed the maximum grant amount of $500 (or $600 for electrically heated) for the year.
- For more utility support info visit: United Way of Bruce Grey Utility Assistance program, Bruce County LEAP and YMCA Housing Services.
FOOD SECURITY SUPPORTS
- Community Meal Programs: demand remains high for food assistance as per the Bruce Grey Food data collected.
- The number of meals served in 2021 with November and December yet to come is 140,211 which exceeds the 2020 number of 137,866.
- Foodrescue in Grey Bruce at the end of Oct 2021 (with some data to still come in from partners) reports 120,980 lbs = 151 pianos over the 2020 report of 41,213 lbs = 51 pianos.
- Community Garden Network: 16,000 kilograms of fresh food was produced by community gardens involved in the Grey Bruce Community Garden Network in 2020. That is the same weight as 40 full size pianos!
- 10,000 kilograms of fresh food was donated to food banks/meal programs in Grey Bruce.
- In 2020, we had fewer gardens operating for a total of 9821 kg = 27 pianos.
- Kincardine Good Food Box: will be offering a new satellite depot in Ripley starting on December 22nd.
- Eye exams: Optometrists and the Ontario government are still negotiating services offered under OHIP. Patients are still unable to obtain eye exams, even with offers of private payment. UPDATE: children and seniors will be able to obtain eye exams starting 23 November 2021. Some 15,000 patients/day were not being served.
Stay well, Jill