Newmarket ― POLITICS – “The Ontario government is putting more than $1 billion dollars in 2019-20 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness,” says Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Newmarket.
Minister Clark also revealed the province’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy, outlining the government’s plan to transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most. Joining Minister Clark at the announcement were Christine Elliott, MPP Newmarket-Aurora; Christine Hogarth, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and John Taylor, Mayor of Newmarket.
“Our government believes Ontario families shouldn’t have to live in buildings with crumbling walls, leaking roofs and broken elevators,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. “We will work with municipalities and non-profits to address issues like safety, overcrowding and long wait lists.”
Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy includes early steps to improve community housing across the province:
- Encouraging tenants to seek opportunities at school and work by removing existing penalties for working more hours or going to college or university;
- Making rent more predictable by simplifying rent calculations;
- Freeing up the waitlist by having tenants prioritize their first choice and accept the first unitthey are offered, while allowing Service Managers flexibility to make exceptions in extenuating circumstances;
- Protecting tenants who receive child support payments by ensuring their rent is not impacted by payments;
- Making housing available to those who truly need it by requiring an asset test; and
- Making housing safer by empowering housing providers to turn away tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity.
“We are putting families first and investing more in housing and homelessness, including supportive housing, than any other level of government,” adds Clark. “Despite the challenging fiscal environment we inherited, we will protect this critical investment. We are committed to matching the federal dollars under the National Housing Strategy and look forward to negotiations on the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit.”
“As the Chair of Housing York, I am very aware of the lengthy wait that our citizens have in attaining affordable housing,” says John Taylor, Mayor of Newmarket. “By introducing asset limits and increasing the efficiency of the offer process we can be more responsive to those applicants with the highest needs.”
- In 2014-18, Ontario contributed 57 per cent of housing and homelessness spending, compared with just 17 per cent from the federal government.
- Community housing is provided by non-profit, co-operative and municipal housing agencies. It includes a range of programs from subsidized social and affordable housing, including housing for Indigenous people, rent supplements and portable housing benefits that help people find housing in the private market.