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Long-Term Funding For Affordable Housing

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Federal Housing and Homelessness Funding to Ontario is Declining

Source: Federal-Ontario Funding Agreements and Public Accounts

Federal social housing graph 

In 10 years, federal spending for social housing in Ontario will be $267 million less than it is today, declining to zero by 2033. 

The decline in federal funding is also a national issue. On June 25, 2013, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for housing met to discuss the need for a long-term funding commitment from the federal government. They called for a discussion with the federal Minister Responsible for Housing to address the growing housing needs of Canadians.

Government partnerships improve housing outcomes

Results from past housing investments have been significant. Since 2003, affordable housing programs have supported the creation of over 17,000 affordable rental housing units, more than 263,000 repairs and improvements, and rental and down payment assistance to over 81,000 individuals and families in need.

Starting this January, as part of Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, municipalities are implementing 10-year local housing and homelessness plans. These plans will identify current and future housing needs, set objectives and targets, describe actions to meet these goals and indicate how progress will be measured. The plans will help guide investment in local affordable housing in all corners of the province.

Housing has many social and economic benefits

Social and affordable housing are important parts of a strong overall housing system. Lack of affordable housing can make it hard to achieve other household needs, such as health, education and employment.

Affordable housing provides a more cost-effective solution to addressing homelessness:

  • One rent-geared-to-income subsidy = $613 per month (average)
  • One shelter bed = $2,100 per month (average)
  • One long-term care bed = $3,960 per month (average)
  • One correctional facility bed = $4,300 per month (average)
  • One hospital bed = $13,500 per month (average)

Demand for social housing is growing

Demand for social housing in Ontario is greater than the supply and cannot be addressed within existing budgets, resulting in growing waitlists and long wait times.

More individuals and families are also in need of affordable housing, meaning they must spend more than 30 per cent of their income to secure suitable housing:

  • Between 2004 and 2012, the number of households on waiting lists for rent-geared-to-income social housing units has increased by 32,000, to nearly 158,500.
  • Between 1991 and 2006, the number of Ontario households in need of affordable housing increased by over 200,000.
  • 627,535 (15 per cent of the province’s households) are in urgent need of affordable housing.

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