TORONTO, November 16, 2009 – Consultations with 40 communities reveal Ontarians expect their provincial government to resolve Ontario’s housing crisis with a bold action plan, says a report released today by the Housing Network of Ontario (HNO).
Communities Speak: A Summary of the 2009 Provincial Housing Consultations, reflects government-led consultations held between June and November with housing providers, tenants, agency staff, private landlords, and low-income people in housing need. It summarizes core conclusions of those consultations with 40 recommendations for the provincial government to enact.
“Ontarians have spoken: the province must take bold action to resolve Ontario’s housing crisis,” says Yutaka Dirks, Co-chair of HNO.
“Acting on the expert recommendations of people who are living this crisis, like the ones in this report, will be key to moving forward on housing and it has the added advantage of addressing some of Ontario’s core economic challenges.”
The report calls on the provincial government to invest in a plan to build more affordable housing, to repair existing public housing, and ensure more Ontarians in need have access to affordable housing when they need it.
“Resolving Ontario’s housing crisis isn’t just a matter of bricks and mortar,” says Harvey Cooper, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario. “The recommendations in this report provide guidance in a wide range of policy areas. Bold leadership in these areas will not only start to address housing affordability, but also help Ontario reach its target of a 25% reduction in poverty by 2013.
“Thousands of people have come to community meetings to let politicians know what they must do to properly address the enormous affordable housing need in Ontario. This report brings all their input together, and we expect government to act on these recommendations,” said Dirks.
The HNO will be releasing its own submission to the government’s consultation process in early December. Over 450 organizations and individuals have endorsed the HNO Declaration.