Canada has adopted a Rights-Based approach to its first-ever National Housing Strategy on November 22nd, 2017. They have announced their new strategy with a $41 billion budget over the next 10 years.
In addition to existing programs, what is new?
$15.9 billion for a National Housing Co-investment Fund
- $4.7 billion in financial contributions and
- $11.2 billion in low interest loans to developers that meet certain criteria including ensuring that:
- 30 per cent of units in a development will rent for less than 80 per cent of median market rents for at least 20 years.
- At least a 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over national building and energy codes.
- 20 per cent of units meet accessibility standards.
$200 million Transfer of Federal Lands to housing providers on condition that they meet environmental, socioeconomic and affordability standards.
A separate Indigenous People Housing Strategy will be developed with their input.
What is the need locally?
- 60% of people on low-income are working
- 20% of employees in Grey County have multiple jobs
- 95% of all new jobs created in Ontario were part-time
- 1 in 3 jobs in Ontario is temporary, contract, or part-time.
- 1 in 5 children live in poverty in Ontario
- 17% of Grey County and Bruce County children under age 17 live in poverty.
- 21 food banks exist in Grey County and Bruce County. 16% of the population of Bruce and Grey Counties have accessed a food bank.
- In Ontario, the average food bank client spends 70% of income on rent.
- Waitlist for Affordable Housing in Grey County has increased by 15% in the last year. 730 families are on the wait list.
How far the budget reaches down to support our Municipal budgets for affordable housing is still to be determined. But the Federal leadership sets the direction for budge allocations going forward!
Measuring Homelessness in Grey County and Bruce County
Our Housing Action Group will be monitoring and reporting on developments. Currently, our Housing Action Group are developing the program design and implementation for Ontario’s Homelessness Enumeration on April 23rd to 27th, 2018. This will be a Point-in-Time Rural Survey carried out in partnership with community agencies and volunteers.
The report of Ontario’s Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness (the Panel), A Place to Call Home, stated: “Over the past several decades, homelessness in Canada has been on the rise” (2015, p.7). The experience of homelessness is understood to be a severe form of deprivation for people affected by a wide range of factors over which they have no control, such as unemployment or precarious employment, challenges with finding affordable housing, and economic hardship. Further, homelessness has
unequal impacts that are linked with racialization, gender, sexual
orientation, age, ability, language, immigration status, socioeconomic
status, mental health and addictions issues, regional location, and
Indigenous identity. Learning more about the prevalence and realities of
homelessness can galvanize community stakeholders who want to
develop more effective ways of addressing it.