THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board is expanding the eligibility of a fund to help keep low income earners in their homes.
The social services board is changing the total annual income requirements for people to access their Housing Security Fund, allowing more people to access assistance to remain in permanent housing.
Chief administrative officer Bill Bradica said the goal of the program is to provide solutions that keep people from becoming homeless.
“One is to assist people to obtain permanent housing, either through providing assistance with last month’s rent or utility deposits that are usually required for natural gas or electricity,” Bradica said.
“It also assists people already housed who might be going through some tough times and having trouble paying their rent if there is a threat of eviction or their utilities being cut off.”
The new income limits are capped at $27,520 for a single person, $38,919 for a two-person family, $47,666 for a three-person family and $55,041 for a four-person family.
DSSAB is receiving the funding from the province as part of the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative. The fund is one component of the $2.7 million that is being received locally for each of the next two years.
Nearly 900 people applied last year to access the fund, with 750 approved and $450,000 utilized out of the $750,000 made available.
“We’d like to see a 50 per cent or more increase in the take-up on this particular fund,” Bradica said.
“We just really want to have it known it is available to individuals and families of low income and that you don’t have to be on social assistance to apply.”