Affordable housing project in Barrie gets $800,000 boost


Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is providing more than $835,000 for two affordable housing units in Barrie that will help people in the Indigenous community.

At a news conference Thursday morning Associate Minister of Housing Michael Parsa and other dignitaries announced the purchase of a duplex in the city’s downtown.

The house will be operated by the Barrie Native Friendship Centre (BNFC).

“Indigenous people looking for supportive housing often struggle to find culturally appropriate accommodations that meet their unique needs,” Parsa said. “The project we’re celebrating is a great example of how our government is partnering with Indigenous communities in Barrie, and across Ontario to deliver housing solutions for the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Through innovation, collaboration and commitment, we’re ensuring every Ontarian has a safe place to call home.”

Funding is part of the province’s Social Services Relief Fund, which has provided over $1.2 billion of support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to help municipal service managers and Indigenous program partners create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Ontario government is also investing an additional $25 million annually in the new homelessness prevention program that simplifies and streamlines operations so municipal service managers can spend less time on paperwork. The additional funding brings the total to $464 million.

“Today is a great day for Barrie. This project will provide safe and secure accommodation for Indigenous people at risk of homelessness. Working in collaboration with all our partners, we’re ensuring residents of Barrie have a place to call home,” said Doug Downey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte.

The Ontario government has also increased supports under the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program provides housing assistance and support services to Indigenous people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, youth homelessness, and homelessness following transitions from provincially funded institutions.