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Affordable Housing in Ontario

Archived Backgrounder

Affordable Housing in Ontario

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Having access to a safe, stable place to call home is fundamental to ensuring a high quality of life. For most Ontarians, securing employment, getting an education and raising children would be impossible without it.

Since 2003, the McGuinty government has been working to rebuild Ontario's housing system. Building Foundations: Building Futures is the latest step in a series of actions that have helped Ontarians find suitable, affordable homes.

Investing dollars where they're needed most

Since 2005, Ontario has invested nearly $2.5 billion in housing and housing supports.

For example:

  • Ontario provides approximately $430 million in annual operating funding for housing and homelessness services.
  • In 2005, the McGuinty government signed the $734-million Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement - the largest affordable housing program in Canadian history. The Agreement was extended in 2009 with a combined $540 million commitment over the next two years.
  • To date, Ontario has helped over 23,800 families stay in their homes through a $33.8 million investment in the Provincial Rent Bank Program. 
  • Low-income working families have benefited from nearly $185 million in rental assistance since 2008.
  • To ensure that existing social housing units are kept in good repair, Ontario has committed $704 million under the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program.
  • In 2007, municipalities received an additional $127 million in flexible funding to repair or construct affordable housing units.
  • To date, Ontario has provided nearly $80.2 in support to Aboriginal families not living on reserves.
  • In 2008, Ontario provided $100 million to Service Managers to repair social housing units. To date 98 per cent of the funds have been spent to repair approximately 65,000 units.

Getting results for families

To date, the above programs have resulted in the construction and repair of over 200,000 affordable and social housing units.

In addition, more than 35,000 rent supplements are helping low-income Ontarians pay their rent.

Beginning January 1, 2011, Ontario will launch a new program to help families pay their rent when they facing financial difficulties. The $50-million Short-Term Rent Support Program gives municipalities the flexibility to determine how the program is delivered in their communities, so that they can better address local needs, i.e., giving municipalities the flexibility to provide more immediate assistance to target client groups such as victims of domestic violence and seniors.

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