Bringing Affordable Housing Home
A shared action plan to advance housing stability in Ontario.
In collaboration with non-profit sector partners, United Ways across Ontario are facilitating a province-wide sector engagement addressing Affordable Housing. Almost 400 non-profit leaders across the province have participated in this initiative – locally we had 59 organizations respond to our call for input – bringing experience and expertise on non-profit, emergency, shelter, and transitional housing; tenant legal support services; immigration and settlement services; financial and wrap-around supports; mental health and addictions; and food security.
As a result of the consolidation of all the input and data gathered, we are pleased to share Bringing Affordable Housing Home: An Action Plan for Housing Stability in Ontario. The report contains 7 Key Recommendations, identifying concrete steps needed to actualize the full potential of the sector and solutions that can be made possible if governments and businesses will listen and engage.
A safe, affordable, and accessible home is foundational to building a stable life. It is a necessity for access to employment, education, food, and social services. It is unacceptable, and unignorable, that an affordable home is out of reach for so many in our region. The devastating impacts of housing unaffordability affect, not only individuals and families, but communities, government support and services, and the overall strength of our economy.
Creating immediate solutions to the housing shortage must be a priority for all. The community housing sector is a critical part of the equation in solving Ontario’s affordable housing crisis. Working solutions already exist, but they need resources to respond to the growing need. Non-profit housing and cooperative housing providers are eager to deliver affordable and deeply affordable housing for lower-income households, in perpetuity. They are ready to provide the supports and services needed to increase the well-being of communities facing a myriad of social and economic challenges.
The role of the non-profit housing sector in growing housing choices for Ontarians will be critical in helping the Government of Ontario to meet its 1.5 million homes target.
With Bringing Affordable Housing Home: An Action Plan for Housing Stability in Ontario, we are offering seven practical recommendations that can make the greatest difference for those in most dire need of affordable and deeply affordable housing.
To create stability in our region, and lift people out of core housing needs and homelessness, a full spectrum of housing options are required. We must meet housing safety and affordability needs. United Way WRC is working to ensure Waterloo Region is connected as part of a province-wide movement and directly engaging with local partners. Only through a local collaboration between non-profit, government, and business can we create solutions that reflect our region’s unique strengths and challenges and build upon our existing projects and resources.
Bringing Affordable Housing Home: Recommendation Summary
Recommendation 1: Land and Assets
Federal, provincial, and municipal governments make surplus lands and assets available to non-profit and co-operative housing providers to grow deeply affordable and supportive housing options across Ontario.
Recommendation 2: Investments
Federal, provincial, and municipal governments increase investment in and improve greater access to financing for the development of affordable and deeply affordable homes across Ontario.
Recommendation 3: Incentives
The provincial government, in partnership with municipal governments, provides development incentives that prioritize non-profit housing organizations and establishes flexible programs that maximize the community housing sector’s capacity to compete in the housing market effectively.
Recommendation 4: Preservation
The provincial government, in partnership with federal and municipal governments, provides consistent and predictable long-term funding to preserve existing deeply affordable housing and supportive housing options offered by the community housing sector.
Recommendation 5: Supports and Protections
All levels of government provide housing stabilization and eviction prevention supports and strengthen tenant protections to help renters access and maintain affordable and secure homes.
Recommendation 6: Indigenous Housing
The federal and provincial governments address and prioritize persistent housing and homelessness challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples through a dedicated strategy, programs and supports developed and implemented in partnership with Indigenous leaders, diverse Indigenous communities, housing providers, and all levels of government.
Recommendation 7: Collaboration and Partnerships
The federal and provincial governments coordinate housing strategies, plans and programs with municipal governments while promoting cross-sector collaboration and resource sharing.
For more information on the Provincial collaboration and an opportunity to endorse the report please visit: Bringing Affordable Housing Home: An action plan for housing stability in Ontario – United Way Greater Toronto (unitedwaygt.org)