Hintonburg Hub UpdateThu Jan 5, 2012 Miss Vicky
As reported over in openfile, there may indeed be a new location for the Hintonburg Hub.
It was clear that the negotiations with the Salvation Army were going nowhere, and without political help (and cash) from the city, the partners weren't able to bring the kind of leverage to the table to push things forward in any kind of meaningful way. In the meantime, another property became available: the Pantuso Garage site at the corner of Bayview and Wellington West. You know the place - art deco-ish lines, big huge clock? Anyway, it's not as ideal as the Bethany Hope property, but it was more affordable, didn't have a bizarre easement running through it and no threat of heritage designation hanging over its head. So the CCOC put in an offer and before Christmas it was conditionally accepted.
I haven't heard an update since then but I assume that inspections and other things will take place and other conditions need to be met. But it gives the partners a starting point for future discussions with the city and province about funding for social housing, and the LIHN about funding for the health care component.
In the meantime, the Hub partners need to meet to discuss who's in for providing services at this location, what kind of space will be required, and so on. It's not really a big enough space to be what many of us envisioned for the Bethany Hope site. But at the very least I'm pretty confident we'll see new social housing built (yay), and front-line health care (double yay). At least, I'll be pushing for that when it comes to the Somerset West CHC board, hopefully later this month. And I'll keep everyone posted as best I can.
How can you help? Well, if this is going to fly we are going to need to raise some money - even if various levels of government contribute. I am reasonably confident, since I know the community has wanted better access to health care for some time. But it won't be easy in this economic climate, especially with the threats of public service cuts and layoffs hanging over the heads of many who live here. We'll need a good, creative team and an innovative campaign to encourage community support for the initiative.