Cornwall unsure on national housing strategy

Cornwall Community Housing Supervisor Mellissa Morgan (background) answers a question from Coun. Bernadette Clement during a council meeting Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. Morgan says the city is unsure how a Canada-wide housing strategy is going to affect social housing in SD&G. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The social housing supervisor for SD&G is unsure how a Canadian national homelessness strategy is going to affect the city and SD&G.

Cornwall Community Housing Supervisor Mellissa Morgan shared the assessment Monday night while answering questions about an upcoming enumeration of the SD&G geared-to-income housing stock.

“I’m not sure what the impact will be on us,” Morgan said.

The enumeration, which is paid by the Ontario government, is done every two years to give the province a sense of the types of housing SD&G needs.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and the results are made publicly available. The data is also incorporated into the City of Cornwall’s 10 year housing plan.

Last week, the federal government announced a $2.2 billion homelessness program to cut the number of homeless in Canada in half over the next decade.

The program, expected to remove a half million families from housing need and build up to 100,000 affordable homes, is set to launch in the spring of 2019.

Coun. Bernadette Clement said homelessness is “a big issue in our community” and is not often seen unlike people on park benches in metro areas. “We know there are couch surfers,” she said, referring to homeless people who move around the city, staying with friends.

The City of Cornwall is the contracted service manager for social and housing services in SD&G.