Guelph Contribution Totals $1 Million to Supportive Housing Project
City council unanimously approved an extra $500,000 for a permanent supportive housing project during a special meeting on Wednesday evening, bringing the total municipal contribution to the Kindle Communities’ 32-unit project at 10 Shelldale Cres. in Guelph to $795,000.
This project is part of the Home for Good campaign, launched last year by United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin and The Guelph Community Foundation. In addition to the Kindle project, it includes Stepping Stone’s Grace Gardens and a youth-focused effort from Wyndham House, aiming to provide permanent housing for 72 individuals in the community who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Support services will be offered at each site.
The additional funding became necessary because community contributions for the Kindle project came up short ahead of an August 15 deadline, needed for a grant from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Home for Good sought the additional city funding, with the idea first raised at the July council meeting and then deferred to the special meeting on Wednesday.
CMHC gave a brief extension to its fundraising deadline, allowing the council to meet, according to deputy CAO Colleen Clack-Bush. After speaking with CMHC, Kindle, and Home For Good representatives, staff recommended the additional money go directly to Kindle, which the council agreed to.
The shortfall in campaign fundraising is due to several factors, including a faster project pace than anticipated, economic changes, uncollected pledged contributions, and “conflicting messaging in the community about housing support.”
Initially, the Home For Good campaign aimed to raise $5 million for three permanent supportive housing projects: Kindle Communities, Stepping Stone’s Grace Gardens at 721 Woolwich St. (32 units), and Wyndham House’s youth project at 51 Bellevue St. (8 units). The city had previously donated $500,000 to the campaign, with $205,000 going to Wyndham House and the rest to Kindle. The Grace Gardens project didn’t receive city funds but was financed through community donations and grants.
Both Wyndham House and Grace Gardens projects are now open.