Stratford’s Community Consultation on Housing and Homelessness: SAHA’s response

SAHA co-founder, Niki Andre, flags 4 major flaws with Social Services’ Community Consultation on Housing and Homelessness. Read excerpts from her response to the City’s summary of the public meeting, in this 4 part blog series
Part 1 – Clarifying Terms: Attainable and Affordable are NOT the same thing

I attended the City’s Public Consultation on Housing and Homelessness on Nov 23. I flagged, both at the public meeting and after it, that our Housing Department’s presentation has misrepresented the Attainable Housing Project (AHP)’s definition of “Attainable Housing”. The “Clarifying Terms” slide that Housing Manager, Jeff Wilson, presented at the consultation states that “Attainable Housing includes the entire breadth of housing options” that “Affordable Housing (is) a form of attainable housing” and that “Community Housing, (which is) synonymous with social housing (is) a form of attainable housing.”


However, by the Attainable Housing Project’s own definition, “attainable” housing can be none of those things. Their definition of attainable housing clearly states that an attainable residential unit “is not an affordable residential unit” and “is not intended for use as a rented residential premises” They also state that the AHP does not address housing needs managed by the City of Stratford Social Services Department. The Social Services Department is mandated to coordinate and deliver programming related to homelessness, emergency shelter, supportive housing, and affordable housing.”


I followed up repeatedly with Jeff Wilson, on behalf of the Stratford Affordable Housing Alliance (SAHA), asking that the “Clarifying Terms” be corrected, before being disseminated, in order to accurately reflect how our City and the AHP (regulated by our province) define these terms. I expressed concerns about the public being misinformed.  We did not receive a reply. On December 21st we received a follow up on the public consultation, from Kehlar Hilliyer, which included a slide deck reiterating the same misinformation.


We are again asking that the City take care not to mislead the public on the scope and mandate of the Attainable Housing Project and that you please send consultation participants a corrected version of the “Clarifying Terms” slide.