Homeless man to Peterborough councillors: 'We're people too, we deserve respect'
Many people stepped up to the podium during Monday evening’s meeting of Peterborough city council to voice their concerns about the housing crisis in the city.
One homeless man, who did not offer his name, said he just can’t afford a place to live.
“We’re people, too,” he said while crying. ” We deserve respect [and] proper, safe homes, and housing where we can be safe.
“How is that fair, that only people who are rich can afford somewhere safe to live?”
Others spoke about the housing section under Peterborough’s draft Official Plan, saying housing needs to be higher on the list of priorities.
“Its really brought into the consciousness of the community how we need affordable options around affordable housing, so that is something that I wanted to bring forward and to look at some of the recommendations of the Official Plan and to just move them up,” said resident Joanne Bazak-Brokking.
“And one of them is to require that 10 per cent of all new developments have affordable units.”
“Housing for the lowest income people — which is the current issue in need, besides the opiod crisis in the community — has been neglected totally, and this is quite bothersome to some people,” said Roy Brady, another Peterborough resident.
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The representative for Peterborough’s YES Shelter for Youth and families also spoke to council on Monday, seeking approval for capital funding to support the shelter’s purchase of 12 units of affordable housing to be use as a transitional housing for youth.
This transitional housing is aimed at giving youth the tools to exit homelessness permanently, rather than temporarily.
During the meeting, Mayor Dianne Therrien told attendees that she, along with Hon. Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough – Kawartha, are hosting a housing meeting on Tuesday to discuss the housing crisis, and to discuss building 2,000 affordable housing units over the next two years.