A new Red Deer city council committee has been proposed to oversee housing and homelessness issues.
On Monday, council will consider a staff recommendation to disband the Community Housing and Advisory Board and replace it with a council committee that will make decisions on housing issues related to planning, research, evaluation and fund administration.
The new committee comes out of the Community Housing and Homelessness Integrated Plan, which went before council in October 2019. The plan outlined a strategic an innovative housing strategy to address the community’s housing goals while meeting council’s goal of being a socially responsible city.
If approved by council, the new Collaborative Community Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee is expected to be in place in November.
“A more integrated and collaborative governance model for housing and homelessness has been considered in recent years,” says city community services general manager Sarah Tittemore in a news release.
“The model we are proposing brings a more collaborative approach, ensuring all voices are heard and considered in service of common goals.”
Currently, multiple city agencies deliver homelessness supports with the Community Housing Advisory Board acting as adviser to council on affordable housing and homelessness issues.
The new committee will serve as the community advisory board that is required by the federal government.
Besides overseeing, planning, research and evaluation, the committee will co-ordinate assets and support services related to homelessness.
The new approach will also provide more opportunities for engaging with the community and increasing collaboration with agencies and groups focused on mental health, addictions and poverty prevention. A variety of sub-committees as well an Indigenous working group are also envisioned.
There will also be a process in place for council to take over decision making in critical or emergency situations.