Ontario Repairing and Upgrading Social Housing in Niagara Region
Province Investing Carbon Market Proceeds to Make Apartment Buildings More Energy Efficient
Ontario is providing new funding to the Regional Municipality of Niagara to repair and retrofit social housing apartment buildings to be more comfortable and healthier places for people to live, while also making them more energy efficient.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the Fleming Centre in Beamsville to announce up to $6.9 million in funding over five years for the region's social housing, contingent on carbon market proceeds. This investment is part of an Ontario-wide program to improve these homes for low-income and vulnerable tenants and to provide the support and opportunity that people need to live their best lives. This investment will also reduce energy bills for social housing providers and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by making buildings more energy efficient. Improvements include installing energy-efficient boilers, windows, lighting and insulation.
The government is investing in social housing retrofits through proceeds from carbon market auctions as part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, which includes a target of cutting GHG emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
By law, the province must invest carbon market proceeds in programs to help households and businesses reduce GHG pollution, which helps save money on energy costs. This investment includes supporting a variety of energy-efficiency building retrofits and making electric vehicles more accessible.
Ensuring that everyone in Ontario has a safe and affordable place to call home is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- About 19 per cent of Ontario’s renters — or 260,000 households — live in social housing.
- Ontario is investing up to $657 million across the province over five years, contingent on carbon market proceeds, to make social housing apartment buildings more energy efficient.
- The government is investing more than $2 billion over the next three years in affordable and sustainable housing, including millions more for repairs and retrofits to social housing.
- A 2012 study by Deutsche Bank found that every $1 million invested in energy-efficiency retrofits in multi-family affordable housing buildings generated $1.3 million to $3.9 million in energy savings. The retrofits also made the buildings more sustainable and improved residents’ quality of life.
“Thousands of renters in Niagara Region and across Ontario depend on affordable housing options like the social housing highrises we are investing in today. Everyone in this province deserves to have a safe, affordable home where they can live with dignity. Our funding to make these buildings more energy efficient will also make them healthier and more comfortable places for people to live.”
“This investment in Niagara Region will help make necessary repairs and retrofits that will extend the life of social housing units. This includes new energy-efficient boilers, improved insulation, and window replacements that use the latest low-carbon and carbon-free technologies. This is all part of our plan to make sure everyone in Ontario can afford housing that meets their needs.”
“This investment in affordable housing in Niagara is another great example of how Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and our carbon market work together to reduce harmful greenhouse gas pollution from our homes. By helping make social housing apartments more energy efficient, we are not just fighting climate change, we’re also improving the quality of life for tenants, and helping shape a more prosperous, low-carbon future.”