Building A Better Affordable Housing System
McGuinty Government Releases Long-Term Strategy
Families in need of affordable housing will soon have access to a more flexible, coordinated and supportive system that is focused on people first.
Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy will address the unique needs of individuals and communities by building a strong foundation that is based on four key pillars: putting people first, creating strong partnerships, supporting affordable options and accountability.
As part of the strategy, the Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act will be introduced today. It would, if passed, reduce barriers to affordable housing by:
- Consolidating Ontario's housing and homelessness programs to give municipalities the flexibility to use funding to address local needs
- Simplifying the rent-geared-to-income calculation process so that most tenants would only declare their income once a year. This could allow them to use the extra money to improve their standard of living
- Expanding affordable housing options by requiring municipalities to set policies that would allow second units in new and existing developments
- Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of municipalities and the province to create stronger partnerships and greater accountability
Today's legislation, if passed, would also commit the province and municipalities to report on key performance indicators including how the strategy is working for those with housing needs. This is an important part of the Open Ontario plan to break the cycle of poverty.
The future of affordable housing depends on flexible, sustained funding. Ontario will work with municipalities to engage the federal government to commit to stable, long-term funding.
- Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy.
- Since 2003, over $2.5 billion in combined provincial and federal funding has been dedicated to the construction and repair of more than 200,000 affordable and social housing units.
“Ontarians spoke and our government listened. Ontario families deserve a better housing system. This strategy is focused on the needs of families and, by working together with our partners, we will finally have the tools necessary to respond to the unique needs of communities across this province.”
“It is essential that Ontario families have a safe, affordable place to call home. Through initiatives like the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, our government's Poverty Reduction Strategy is helping break the cycle of poverty.”
“This strategy articulates the Province's recognition of the importance of strong partnership and collaboration with municipalities in the area of housing. We look forward to continuing to work with the Province on all the elements that will make this strategy - including the groundbreaking move to begin to consolidate housing and homelessness programs so as to better serve Ontarians - a success.”
“We have called on the McGuinty government to make a renewed commitment to community-based affordable housing a cornerstone of its affordable housing strategy. A number of the planned changes will strengthen the role of housing providers and reinforce community control. This is very good news for housing co-ops. The government deserves a lot of credit for listening.”