Strategies to tackle homelessness examined

A plan outlining strategies in Red Deer’s fight against homelessness will go to city council on Monday.

A plan outlining strategies in Red Deer’s fight against homelessness will go to city council on Monday.

EveryOne’s Home, a five-year community plan towards ending homelessness in Red Deer, outlines targets as well as ways of ending local homelessness by 2018.

The overall goal is to have 500 new housing options open up between 2010 and 2015. Forty per cent of these would be new stock and the rest would be conversions of existing suites or units to affordable housing options.

The plan calls for developing a “rapid re-housing program,” which will have 20 affordable housing units available by 2011 and 60 units by 2015. Another target is having 40 additional specialized units for people with severe addictions, mental illness, or cognitive disabilities by 2013.

Suggested strategies include the promotion of existing affordable housing initiatives, the use of legal secondary suites, and “thoughtful community planning.”

The plan also encourages developing a new re-housing program that works with landlords and property managers to create more affordable housing options, as well as some short-stay units for people needing a place to stay mid-month.

City council will also consider several other items of business on Monday, including:

• First reading of bylaw amendments affecting signs that do not require permits, such as show home and open house signs, as well as “dynamic” signs, which are described as having electronic or moving parts.

• Two land-use bylaw amendments for final readings: a proposed Garden Heights Phase 1, and Sunnybrook South Phase 4 residential developments.

• Spending $140,000 to start planning for the next redevelopment of Gaetz Avenue, between 46th and 52nd Streets, as a 2011 project.

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