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Information Alert 

Province Announces Update to Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy

March 14, 2016

Today , the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, released the government's update to its Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy (LTAHS).
The updated strategy includes legislative and policy measures supported by new funding and reflecting recommendations from OMSSA and its members on creating a more streamlined and efficient system that makes sense for people seeking affordable housing. I nformed by feedback from key stakeholders including clients, developers, municipalities and advocates the new strategy commits to providing CMSMs and DSSABs with flexibility to meet local needs

As referenced in  OMSSA's information alert regarding the 2016 budget highlights, the province is investing $178 million over three years in an effort to streamline and simplify services for people seeking affordable housing.  
The role of OMSSA members (CMSMs and DSSABs) is not immediately clear.  As indicated many of the recommendations put forth by OMSSA and its members including harmonizing income, portable housing allowances and greater local flexibility is reflected in the updated LTAHS strategy.
Following are highlights from today's announcement.
  • 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.
The province plans to work with partners to introduce policy, legislative, and regulatory changes to:
  • Streamline and simplify rent-geared-to-income (RGI) calculations and administration 
  • Support vibrant mixed-income communities and encourage a healthy mix of RGI and market rent tenants
  • Recognize new and innovative forms of municipal housing assistance 
  • Increase local flexibility to manage housing assets and meet local needs
  • Develop a voluntary accreditation system that encourages sector sustainability and high-quality tenant services
The province will establish a steering committee with partner ministries and stakeholders to advise government on the development of a framework for modernizing social housing in Ontario
Key elements of a modernized social housing system include:
  • A vibrant and innovative non-profit, co-operative, and municipal housing sector 
  • People-centred, efficient housing programs
  • An equitable, portable system of financial assistance
In addition, the province will work with stakeholders to improve access and co-ordination across systems (e.g. health, community services, children and youth) and provide better referrals for clients to find the right housing and supports.  The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement. 

Related Documents
For more information please contact:

Petra Wolfbeiss
Acting Executive Director