Heidy VanDyk, manager of Social Services and Housing, spoke passionately this week about the hidden group of people in our region who are poor and homeless.
Almost 12% of people in Haldimand and Norfolk fall below the Low Income Cut Off, more commonly known as the poverty line, and 60% of these reside in Norfolk. The average wait time for an individual to receive access to subsidized housing is 7-8 years.  459 people in our region have been granted access to Emergency Housing.  The severe impact of poverty and homelessness on a person's health is widely recognized. 
In Canada, housing is considered a basic human right, and Ontario and Canadian governments have invested over $9 million in affordable housing programs in Haldimand and Norfolk. These programs include assistance to homeowners as well as rent geared to income. The new Hambleton Hall housing development in Simcoe has 35 tenants who were eligible for subsidized housing, and half of these were drawn from the waiting list.  Thanks, Heidy, for such an informative and useful presentation.