When I campaigned in 2018, I promised to work on a Niagara-specific Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The idea of developing a poverty reduction strategy for Niagara was not, initially, well-received, so I focused on issues around the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, investing in affordable housing projects, advocating for Niagara’s fair share of Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative funding, and the Niagara Prosperity Initiative grant program.
Meanwhile, over the course of the 2018 term, Brock University conducted an evaluation of the Niagara Prosperity Initiative (you can read the report here), and ended up recommending the development of a Niagara Poverty Reduction Strategy.
In October 2021, Council approved beginning the development of a Niagara Poverty Reduction Strategy and a new approach for Niagara Prosperity Initiative investments.
At the time of writing this blog entry, Regional staff are in the process of conducting a community consultation with service providers, the general public, planning tables and key sectors, and people with lived experience.
In the first half of 2023 (when the new term of Council is getting underway), Regional staff will go through a validation process, taking their findings from the various focus groups and consultations back to planning tables and key agencies, people with lived experience, and a town hall for the general public. The second half of 2023 will be dedicated to finalizing the strategy.
The work is only just starting on this, and I would like to be on Regional Council, so that I can see through the development and implementation of a Niagara Poverty Reduction Strategy, given that I campaigned on this 2018 and it’s finally coming to fruition.