St. Matthew’s House is celebrating a funding announcement of $3.75 million from CMHC, through the Rapid Housing Initiative through the National Housing Strategy. The funds will create a unique approach to housing for racialized seniors in wards 1 to 5 in Hamilton.
Called The 4Twelve, the property at 412 Barton, next door to St. Matthew’s House Children’s Centre, will be converted to deeply affordable apartments, 12 in all. Built using modular construction for speed and affordability, these units will be completed and occupied by December 2022.
The 12 units are intended for low-income seniors who identify as women, Indigenous peoples, racialized groups including Black Canadians and people with disabilities. The need for safe affordable housing with supports is more acute than ever. St. Matthew’s House has a targeted response to model for others in the future. “We hope that The 4Twelve will serve not only as a safe housing solution for our clients, but also will be a model of what is possible—the start of many more projects like this for St. Matthew’s House,” says Renée Wetselaar, Executive Director of St. Matthew’s House.
The homes are only part of the vision for The 4Twelve. It takes more than just four walls to make a place feel like a home; there will be a team on-site to help connect to supports which address the needs of vulnerable seniors in housing, mental health, mobility issues, food insecurity and other supports for a more wholistic approach to create a community hub, not only dwellings.
The affordability of the units, alongside crisis and eviction prevention supports we have designed, will ensure a building program that both engages seniors and allows residents autonomy and opportunities for self-development. The plan is designed to empower seniors in meeting their needs.
This announcement is a dream realized, according to Board Chair David Savage. “We are so very grateful for the funding and its opportunity to serve the older population who is precariously housed…or not housed at all,” he says. “This permanent housing for racialized seniors, housing with supports, is the core of our programming.”
Madeleine Bond is the development coordinator for St. Matthew’s House. Learn more at: https://stmatthewshouse.ca/.