“Dial Moved” with Poverty Initiative
May 5, 2016 Poverty Reduction
This week Hamilton City Council supported Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s motion to commit $50M towards poverty reduction. Eisenberger (right) had brought the motion to the City's General Issues Committee in April.
Among other things Council approved:
- A $20 million allocation to increase affordable housing and improve the state of good repair of housing.
- $3 million a year over 10 years for poverty reduction with the funds coming from the merger of Horizon Utilities Corporation and several other local utilities.
- Engagement with partners to help develop a strategy.
- Leveraging of funding commitments. Loans and grants from senior levels of government, school boards, and foundations as well as other potential contributors from the private sector will be sought.
City staff have been directed to develop a detailed 10 year integrated poverty reduction plan by October.
Last month the Clinic expressed strong support for the initiative in a letter to the city.
Sandi Bell, Clinic Chair—President, expressed our belief that the initiative will positively impact the lives of the clients and community the Clinic serves.
“Municipalities have much to offer in the area of poverty reduction as indicated by recent announcements in Edmonton, London and other cities. This made-in-Hamilton initiative would be a significant step towards the development of a community-driven plan to address barriers to realizing the shared goal of social inclusion for all members of the community,” wrote Ms. Bell.
Today, Clinic Executive Director Hugh Tye called council’s resolution an important step that “moves the dial for the cause of social change.”
“It is a precedent setting commitment to addressing poverty strategically and collaboratively that sets a positive tone for the City and its desire to leverage additional resources from the Province and the Federal Government,” said Tye.
The Clinic commends Mayor Eisenberger and Councillor Chad Collins for acknowledging the work that has been done and recognizing it is time to move forward with new strategies and collaborative action to reduce poverty in Hamilton.