THUNDER BAY – Social Housing in Thunder Bay is under pressure. Our community faces a shortfall of hundreds of places for people to live. The Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA) met last week to explore options for sustaining social housing portfolios across the North and to examine ways to reduce operational costs.
NOSDA’s Vice Chair, Thunder Bay City Councillor Iain Angus stated, “As we execute our organization’s Strategic Plan, we will continue to look for ways to collaborate with other, like-minded organizations to leverage our collective skills, purchasing power and advocacy. Financing, group insurance and other money saving ideas will be explored thoroughly over the coming months, for the benefit of our members, their member municipalities and our clients”.
NOSDA’s Chairman, Gary Scripnick from Timmins explained “We met with officials at the Housing Services Corporation (HSC) in Toronto to discuss alternative financing opportunities for the development of affordable housing in the North – they are the experts in innovative social housing programs in Ontario”.
Chair Scripnick stated “A working group, consisting of myself, Iain Angus, NOSDA Vice Chair from Thunder Bay, as well as DSSAB Chief Administrative Officers Bill Bradica from Thunder Bay, David Landers from Cochrane and Leo DeLoyde from Nipissing have been appointed to work with HSC and others as appropriate, to develop a cogent plan on how we could collectively take advantage of ways to address affordable housing financing. We’re excited about the opportunities to address the housing and social service needs of the people of Northern Ontario”.
NOSDA represents Northern Ontario’s 11 Municipal Service Managers and is comprised of ten District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs), that are unique to Northern Ontario; and ONE municipality (also known as a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)) – the City of Greater Sudbury. All eleven are responsible for the local planning, coordination and delivery of a range of community health, affordable housing and social services that the Province of Ontario divested to them to locally manage. These services represent a significant portion of the social infrastructure of all Northern Ontario’s municipalities.