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January 21, 2022
Council this Week: Highlights from the January 26 County Council agenda

Emergency shelter for homeless population, 2022 Budget update, additional residential units, and modernization funding

County Council meetings are currently being held virtually under Ontario'sreturn to Modified Step Two. Meetings are broadcast live Agenda packages and past recordings of Council meetings can be downloaded at

Emergency shelter proposal

A staff report on options to extend emergency shelter services to “24/7” operations comes forward next Council meeting. Staff was asked by Council last November to prepare a report to address options for the homeless population, an issue that is part of the continuing housing crisis in Oxford County.

The report recommends that emergency shelter is extended to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the current site of Operation Sharing’s emergency shelter, The Inn at 723 Dundas Street in Woodstock. It also recommends a staff support role, allocated by the County, to be added as well as overnight security services. In addition to services offered by The Inn, the report notes that emergency shelter is also provided by the County’s hotel program and the Salvation Army’s Family Emergency House and hotel programs in Tillsonburg and Ingersoll.

Read HS 2022-01 – Emergency Shelter Proposal

2022 Budget update

A report for the January 26 County Council meeting brings forward new information that presents potential of savings of $444,965 in the 2022 Budget. The change follows adjustments in the County’s funding obligations for Southwestern Public Health and the four local Conservation Authorities, although the greatest share is from a $489,259 funding increase the County receives from Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box Program.

Read CS 2022-02 - 2022 Budget Update – January 2022

Modernization funding joint project

County Council receives next Council meeting a consultant’s report on a joint project that reviews the feasibility of digitizing the accounts payable process at Oxford County, Town of Ingersoll and Town of Tillsonburg. The report estimates there could be savings in staff time and efficiency of up to 43%. A key recommendation to deliver these savings is a robotic process automation system that receives and automates invoice handling. Further review of the findings and recommendations contained in the consultant’s report will be carried out before moving forward with implementation. The project is funded through Ontario’s Municipal Modernization Fund.

CS 2022-03: Municipal Modernization Fund - Intake 2 Review Stream Final Reports

Additional residential units in rural areas

Oxford County is seeking Council approval to start the process of reviewing and amending the Official Plan to include policies for Additional Residential Units (ARUs) in Oxford’s rural areas, which are made up of the Townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich, South-West Oxford and Zorra.

ARUs are smaller, secondary dwelling units that are inside, attached to, or on the same property as a primary single detached, semi-detached, or townhouse dwelling. ARUs can take many forms, such as basement apartments, coach houses, in-law suites etc. Ontario’s More Homes, More Choices Act amended the Planning Act to direct municipalities to enact policies and zoning provisions that allow for ARUs in single-detached, semi-detached or townhouse dwellings, where appropriate, as one way of addressing housing supply and affordability challenges.

CP 2022-16: Official Plan Updates to Implement Provincial Direction on Additional Residential Units (ARUs) in Rural Areas

Questions or comments?

Council this Week highlights Council activities for the public, employees and community partners. Please send your questions and comments to

COVID-19: Oxford County follows guidance from Southwestern Public Health and the Government of Ontario. See updates on our programs and services at