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.

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

Just Posted

Former Chilliwack mayor and MLA speaks at UFV

John Jansen makes presentation at Abbotsford campus on Tuesday, Jan. 21

Doxa Band performs at free worship event in Abbotsford

Program takes place Sunday, Jan. 26 at Central Heights Church

Alzheimer Society holds open house in Abbotsford

Event on Jan. 29 at Garden Park Tower is part of awareness month

Tougher burning rules considered by Abbotsford council

Staff suggest limiting open air burning to just two months

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read