Ontario Construction News staff writer
The County of Simcoe has launched the 2020 Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program. Five hundred thousand dollars in annual County funding supports eligible applicants to create age-friendly housing.
“As our population continues to age, the County is focused on key strategies to enhance regional support services and resources that address our community’s needs, including affordable and attainable housing,” said Warden George Cornell. “This grant program aligns with our age-friendly strategy and helps us to increase our housing capacity so more seniors can continue to live independently.”
The grant program is included in the Simcoe County 2018-2023 Positive Aging Strategy, which contains several recommendations for the County and its municipalities on meeting the needs of the region’s aging population. The Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program funds projects that incorporate accessible, adaptable and inclusive designs, which allow seniors to continue to thrive in their communities for as long as possible.
Grants will be awarded under three streams: accessible housing design for seniors; design for individuals with dementia; and the provision of support services for housing that incorporates enhanced aspects of accessibility over and above compliance with the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and building code standards for residential units.
To qualify for this grant, applicants must be completing housing projects within the boundaries of the county’s 16 municipalities, which does not include the cities of Barrie and Orillia. Applicants can be homeowners of principal residences or developers, who wish to include accessible, adaptable and inclusive design modifications for occupants aged 60 or older. Grant amounts will be distributed based on the number of applications received and ability to meet funding criteria.
An Age-Friendly Grant Selection Sub-Committee will evaluate each grant submission in accordance with established evaluation criteria and make recommendations to the Simcoe County Age-Friendly Advisory Committee for endorsement. The committee has approved 88 applicants since its first year in 2018.
The deadline for 2020 application submissions is March 31, 2020. For further details, or to apply to the Age-Friendly Housing Seniors Grant Program, please visit http://www.simcoe.ca/LongTermCare/Pages/Age-Friendly-Seniors-Housing-Grant-Program.aspx.