Public feedback sought for new Oxford County shelter plan

Public feedback sought for new Oxford County shelter plan

On the heels of approving a new strategic blueprint that commits to a goal of “100 per cent housed,” Oxford County is asking its residents for their thoughts as part of development of a 10-year shelter plan.

Provincially mandated as part of ongoing efforts to slow and reverse Ontario’s housing crisis, this new plan will focus on the housing and homelessness needs in Oxford County, municipal officials said in a release.

The plan will delve into five key challenges facing Oxford County:

  • the impact of its increasing population and an increasing cost of living;
  • the dwindling availability of both rental and ownership housing units;
  • lengthy wait times for supportive, subsidized and rent-geared-to-income housing;
  • the growing number of residents considered to be in a “core-housing need,” which describes people living in inadequate or unaffordable housing; and
  • how to best support those experiencing homelessness.

Thoughts on Oxford County’s housing needs can be shared by filling out a survey at The public feedback from this survey and other engagement methods will be used to help develop the shelter plan, which should be ready for council’s consideration in mid-2024.

Under the Housing Service Act, every municipal housing services manager in Ontario must prepare a local 10-year housing and homelessness plan. Oxford County’s very first shelter plan was approved in 2015.

With Oxford County’s commitment to “100 per hundred houses,” council and staff will be seeking innovative solutions in the coming years to address the local housing supply and affordability hurdles. This commitment also involves a willingness to work with community partners and other levels of government to provide this housing.

Currently, Oxford County manages 636 subsidized social housing units, 600 not-for-profit housing units and 538 affordable housing units. Since 2021, the county has completed three new affordable housing projects that added a total of 154 new units with 110 reserved for affordable rents.

There are two new affordable housing projects in the works that will add 95 new units to the Oxford County housing mix when the ribbons are cut.