Last week a civic meeting at the Bennetto Community Centre in Hamilton was shut down due to attendees’ disruptive behaviour. The issue of the meeting was to inform the local community about the proposed site for the Hamilton Alliance for Tiny Shelters, or HATS.

We’ve spoken about the HATS project before on the podcast. However, over the last year, what seemed to be an innovative way to address the tent encampments and rising homelessness around Hamilton, has turned into a lightning rod of controversy. Seemingly the city has been unable to take the leadership to find a suitable location and encourage local support for this project. While cities around Ontario, namely Waterloo and Kingston have embraced the concept, Hamilton still seems in turmoil over whether or not it wants HATS to succeed.

As the housing crisis continues across the country, where could HATS fit into a new housing strategy that seeks to help people get back on their feet and climb the social ladder again? We reached out to Tom Cooper, one of the co-founders of the HATS project and director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction to talk about where the project stands and what is at stake with it’s success or failure.

This Episode is brought to you by Graham Agnew of Dominion Lending

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Nicholas Paul: sound editing.