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Vital Signs: Affordable Housing

Number of people seeking emergency shelter

The number of people considered actively homeless in Hamilton (defined as using homeless-serving services funded by the City of Hamilton) increased to 1,534 in January 2023, up from an average of 1,202 in in 2021, and 1,012 in 2020. Of the 1,534 people experiencing homelessness, 494 had been homeless for more than six months. Over the entire calendar year of 2022, just over 4,000 people experienced homelessness at some point. Of those, 2,200 were men, 1,090 were women, 198 were seniors, 157 were youth, and 206 were families. A total of 468, or 11%, reported Indigenous heritage, although understanding of who uses emergency shelters was greatly enhanced by the more detailed 2022 “Point in Time Connection” conducted by the City and the Coalition of Hamilton’s Indigenous Leadership. Interviews over a two- day period with 545 people who were experiencing homelessness in Hamilton found:

  • 23% identified as Indigenous or as having Indigenous ancestry
  • 40% reported having a chronic health condition
  • 38% reported having a substance use condition.

The top five barriers to finding housing were identified as: 1) high rent, 2) low income, 3) no social assistance, 4) poor housing conditions and 5) discrimination.

Source:  City of Hamilton, Housing and Homelessness Dashboard