Rent banks provide homeless and people on the margins with first and last month rent. They can also be used to top up monthly income to meet rent.
ACORN is also pushing for a program targeted to low- and moderate-income tenants struggling amid the pandemic.
At this year’s state of the city address, Mayor Ed Holder pledged to wipe out chronic homelessness in London within five years by building 3,000 affordable housing units and city council later backed that pledge.
There are 141 new affordable units underway at three sites, including a modular housing project that uses prefabricated materials.
Another 300 affordable units are planned for the old South Street hospital site, but reaching Holder’s 3,000-unit target will take 600 new affordable units a year.
In the meantime, the problem is growing.
“We’re seeing a lot of people being pushed out of home ownership that can’t afford to obtain their first home, which is going to . . . drive up those rents,” Helmer said.
Ward 2 Coun. Shawn Lewis noted some recent successes in London’s housing battles.
He cited a new youth shelter, run by Youth Opportunities Unlimited, and the Winter Interim Solution to Homelessness program that housed dozens of people in two pop-up shelters.