On January 1st, 2012, the Housing Services Act came into effect. One of the requirements of this new Act is for Service Managers to have a local Housing and Homelessness Plan that will encompass a ten-year period. Bruce County is a designated Service Manager under the Act and as such, must develop a ten-year Plan. The purpose of the Housing and Homelessness Plan is to:
- Provide a comprehensive approach to respond to local housing needs;
- Identify the needs and strategies to address homelessness;
- Present a practical plan to help guide and align community efforts and measure outcomes.
Significant work has already been undertaken by Bruce County to develop a Long Term Housing Strategy which was approved by County Council in 2010. The County will use this Strategy as the foundation for the required Housing and Homelessness Plan. Given the substantial background work already completed, many of the necessary elements of the Plan have been addressed. The key areas remaining which are now the focus of study are:
- Aboriginal housing needs
- Persons with disabilities
- Consolidation of housing and homelessness programs
- Local housing corporation regeneration scan
Development of the Housing and Homelessness Plan will rely in part on consultations with stakeholders, including agencies that provide services to persons with disabilities, to better understand the housing needs in the community. This report presents an overview of the approach taken to better understand the housing-related issues faced by persons with disabilities in Bruce County, discussing the information and feedback that was obtained through these consultations.