By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
A Hamilton city councillor wants to open a dialogue with the Province that could help support the proposed Dundas Living Centre for intellectually disabled adults
Terry Whitehead, Ward 8 representative on Hamilton Mountain and chair of the city’s Emergency and Community Services committee, is introducing a motion to that committee to find out if larger group homes, like the 20-space facility proposed by the Dundas group in the Sister’s of St. Joseph convent on Northcliffe Road, might be a more cost-effective model than smaller group homes of three to six residents.
“I’m trying to understand how dollars are being spent to serve this sector of our citizens in our community,” Whitehead said, Monday morning. “Can we have a dialogue to facilitate a more cost-effective model?”
While the motion is not directly related to the Dundas Living Centre proposal – which was rejected for provincial funding, Whitehead acknowledged that type of idea is what his motion is all about.
Whitehead said provincial fire code changes are adding increased costs to small group homes, and he wants to know if there might be some economies of scale – in several areas – with having more residents in such a home.
The councillor’s motion states that both the City of Hamilton and Province of Ontario license and fund Residential Care Facilities that provide housing with supports for adults with intellectual, or mental health, disabilities as well as frail seniors.
The motion directs city housing services staff to report back the Emergency and Community Services Committee with information on group homes in Hamilton serving adults, including the number of homes, their locations, their eligibility criteria and their funding sources.
Staff is also asked to report on “possible partnerships between the Residential Care Facility program and Provincially-administered programs to improve the accessibility of services for Hamilton residents.”