Statement from the Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy following the Auditor General's Report
The following statement was issued today by Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, following the release of the Auditor General's report:
"As Minister, I take the commitment to improving the lives of all Ontarians very seriously. Our government continues to be committed to the vision that every person has an affordable and suitable home. It provides the foundation to secure employment, raise a family and build strong communities.
The Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update, released in 2016, outlined a number of commitments to continue to work towards this vision, and as outlined in the Auditor General's report, some progress has been made in recent months. However, more work needs to be done.
We understand that the current approach to wait lists can be improved. We continue to believe one size does not fit all and local service managers should have the flexibility to tailor programs to meet local needs. That includes managing local wait lists.
In our commitment to modernize the social housing system, we have been working with municipalities and other organizations over the past 18 months to design an updated framework. We launched broader consultations in November. By taking these steps, we will address some of the recommendations in this report.
In addition, the federal government has heard our calls for investment in affordable housing. With the launch of the National Housing Strategy, we will have more tools at our disposal to help modernize Ontario's social housing system, increase the supply of affordable housing and address the findings of this report. It also introduces a Canada Housing Benefit, a tool which builds on Ontario's Portable Housing Benefit framework recently introduced as an optional tool to help more people meet their housing needs.
We agree with the Auditor General's recommendations and we will work to strengthen the way housing services are delivered in the province. We have always said that all three levels of government must be partners to meet the housing needs of Ontarians. When we work together, we can help everyone find a place to call home."