Mayor Henry Braun says the City of Abbotsford has made major strides in improving its relationship with the local homeless population over the past half-decade. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo


Abbotsford mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ for federal homeless fund application

Designated community status would provide $1-3 million per year in funding to fight homelessness

Mayor Henry Braun says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the city will be successful in its application for a federal program that would provide millions in funding relief for the city for homelessness and housing projects.

Applications for designated community status, an Employment and Social Development Canada program, officially closed on March 8, with decisions expected in spring this year.

Selected communities would then receive a targeted call for proposal, with an expected start date for programs in fall this year.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that the City of Abbotsford will receive that designation, which gives us predictable money that we can invest in these (homelessness) programs,” Braun said. “I think we have a very good shot at it. But I’m hoping we will know within the next month or so.”

RELATED: Abbotsford mayor applies to sit on federal homeless committee

According to the Employment and Social Development Canada website, the federal government expects to expand the program from 61 communities to 65 to 67 communities for the designated communities stream of funding, which would run from 2019 to March 31, 2024.

The funding, according to the website, would run $1 million for the 2019/20 fiscal year, $1.9 million for the 2020/21 fiscal year and $3 million for the 2021/22 fiscal year.

Designated community status would provide the city with annual funds from the federal government that can be invested in community programs – which are outlined ahead of the city receiving the money – to reduce homelessness.

In anticipation of the designated community status, Braun said a community-based foundation, called the Many Ways to Home Foundation, is being set up to allow residents to pitch in for projects on homelessness.

“We’ve had businesses that have approached me and said that they’re prepared to help,” Braun said. “This allows community, our residents, businesses, to donate to a foundation that would be set up solely to provide housing supports and housing buildings.”

Abbotsford did not make the cut around two decades ago when the program was launched, picking 61 communities for the funding stream, nor when the latest batch of communities were selected in 2014.

Funding for that last group of communities is coming to a close at the end of this month.

Find more of our coverage on Homelessness here.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter


Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

HomelessnessHousingHousing and Homelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RBSS students decorate a parking stall at the school as part of the Paint the Parking Lot project. (Facebook)
2021 Robert Bateman grads ‘Paint the Parking Lot’

RBSS students decorate Abbotsford school’s parking lot for a good cause

The Mennonite Heritage Museum on Clearbrook Road in Abbotsford.
Mennonite Historical Society in Abbotsford seeks input for storytelling project

Digital project asks for stories about living during COVID-19’s ‘changing times’

The city is considering easing the requirements for neighbourhoods to get traffic calming devices like raised crosswalks installed on their local roads.
PHOTO: City of Abbotsford agenda package
City may make it easier for Abbotsford residents to get speed humps on local roads

City staff suggests easing criteria for roads to qualify for traffic-calming measures

The HOME Society, currently located at 31581 South Fraser Way in Abbotsford, is moving locations after 25 years.
HOME Society in Abbotsford to move locations after 25 years

Move being done to accommodate growth, says executive director

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and COVID-19 contact tracers must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Ranil Prasad saw this poster near Surrey Central SkyTrain station on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. He said it expressed “some specific reference to white replacement theory.” (Photo: Ranil Prasad/@run_neil/Twitter)
Surrey man urges public to watch out for ‘white replacement theory’ posters

Ranil Prasad said he saw the messaging at a Surrey SkyTrain station

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Lawrence Nadessan, 44, was last seen on Oct. 24 at 11:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge man missing since Saturday is extremely out of character, family says

Cameras saw him leaving home, not dressed for the weather

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Most Read