Ontario Government Proposes Transformative Changes to the Housing and Homelessness System

Ontario is introducing a suite of legislative and policy measures, and investing $178 million over three years, to ensure that the people of Ontario have access to affordable and adequate housing.

Last year, Ontario announced that it would consult with communities to update the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, first launched in 2010. The updated strategy is informed by feedback from key stakeholders including clients, developers, municipalities and advocates. It is intended to make housing programs more people-centered and coordinated, and provide municipalities with flexibility to meet local needs.

To increase the supply of affordable housing and support the province's goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years, Ontario is:

  • Creating a framework for a portable housing benefit that would give people who receive housing assistance the flexibility to choose where they want to live. Further, the province will invest more than $17 million over three years to provide a portable housing benefit on a pilot basis to eventually support up to 3,000 survivors of domestic violence.

  • Proposing legislation for inclusionary zoning that would enable municipalities to mandate the inclusion of affordable housing units in new development projects.

  • Developing a Supportive Housing Policy Framework to improve client outcomes, and providing more than $100 million in funding over the next three years for new supportive housing to improve access for up to 4,000 families and individuals to services like counselling, dispensing medication, and life skills, as well as support the construction of up to 1,500 new supportive housing units over the long term.

  • Providing an additional $45 million over three years to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative.

  • Developing an Indigenous Housing Strategy in partnership with Indigenous communities.

To read more on this story, including some key facts about housing and homelessness in Ontario, visit the Government of Ontario website at:

https://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2016/03/ontario-transforming-housing-and-...