THUNDER BAY – The Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA) are welcoming the creation of a National Housing Strategy as announced by the Federal Government on Wednesday.
“We are excited by the fact that the Government of Canada has returned to the business of funding social housing and has developed a long-term plan for its implementation,” said NOSDA Chair, Iain Angus. “We are also pleased that the Federal Government has decided to work through the Provinces rather than spending a large share of the allocation on a new bureaucracy rather than investing the funds directly in housing and tenants” observed Angus, who is a member of the Thunder Bay DSSAB.
NOSDA welcomes the decision to create an additional 100,000 units across Canada and to fund the renovation of 300,000 existing units. “Not only do we have unmet demand across Northern Ontario for new units, but our existing housing stock has aged, and we can easily utilize a share of these new funds to ensure that units that currently exist remain in place for many decades to come” said NOSDA CAO lead, Fern Dominelli, CAO of the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB. “NOSDA would be more than pleased to assist the Ontario and Canadian Government in designing a program that meets the needs of Northern Ontario Communities.”
While NOSDA welcomes the introduction of a portable housing benefit, it expressed its frustration that it would not be introduced until 2020. “Low-income families across the north are struggling today to keep a roof over their head and a portable housing benefit that would reduce the need for them to divert food dollars to rent would result in a significantly improved life,” said Angus. “We would encourage the Government of Canada to accelerate the negotiations with the province and find the funds to accelerate the start date of the program.”
“We applaud the decision by the Government of Canada to introduce legislation declaring that housing is a fundamental right of Canadian Citizens is a vital step in ensuring that future governments ensure that all Canadians are properly housed” concluded Angus.