2018 has been a year when the shortage and importance of affordable housing has skyrocketed to the top of the agenda for all levels of government. There has been a recognition that having an affordable place to live has a positive effect on the health and wellness of all citizens in this great country we live in. Peterborough is no exception. Peterborough Housing Corporation has always believed that everyone should have a place to call home in a strong, vibrant, and supportive community.
With the housing platform front and center politically, a new National Housing Strategy in place, coupled with investment incentives and the attention provincially and municipally, Peterborough Housing Corporation felt it was a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past five years and begin thinking strategically about the next five years. The Board of Directors worked diligently on a new Strategic Plan, revised our Mission Statement and added new Values and Vision Statements to guide our work goals and objectives. While these are subtle changes, they emphasize what we see as our role in housing in the coming years and the importance of focusing on our existing and future needs. It also means using the tools we have as a team, reorganizing to maximize our capacity to deliver services effectively and continuing to respond to the needs of our clients and the community we serve.
The year was a very busy and productive year for Peterborough Housing Corporation. We acquired the property formerly known as Sunshine Homes, began our development on the Bonaccord property, enrolled participants in our Homeward Bound program, and continued the sale of houses to further our development targets; two of the former Peterborough Housing Corporation houses were sold to our residents! Two of our long-serving Board Members decided to retire, making room for new faces, and our Housing Division at City Hall became part of Social Services which mirrored the norm in other municipalities and was the natural alliance to focus on both housing and homelessness.
Peterborough Housing Corporation is building new units both in the City and County, but not at the rate that will meet the need. We are looking at our existing corporate structure and our portfolio and making decisions on what properties serve us well, which sites could be better utilized to meet the future need and how we can increase the density to meet the targets set out in the City of Peterborough’s proposed Official Plan. We are planning mixed communities, with supports, community amenities and partnerships in order to have healthier communities. We will continue to work with our partner agencies and all levels of government to achieve these goals. Partnerships are key to achieving the best outcomes for our residents and we continue to be fortunate in that respect. Many agencies have contributed to our success with the Homeward Bound program, both financially and with in-kind services. The YWCA has been a valued partner that we share the lead within this program that meets both of our corporation’s goals and values. In our new developments, we have created space for a daycare, administration offices, and other amenities that will serve our future residents and support them in their daily lives. Our partnership with Peterborough Regional Health Centre has helped guide our efforts to make our plans for our new seniors’ residence in Peterborough be a model for affordable assisted living throughout the province.
Our work could not be achieved without the support of our Shareholder, the City of Peterborough, the Housing Division at the City, all our County representatives, our partners and most of all, our Board of Directors and team of staffing professionals.
To all of them, we say thank you.