Federal Budget 2024

Access to a safe and affordable home is critical to an individual’s health and well-being. Unfortunately, more and more individuals and families in our community are experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their homes:  

      • Deficient inventory paired with inflation and a lack of available trades has led to increasingly unattainable housing costs for many across Simcoe Muskoka 
      • Among those who are housed, locally it is estimated that almost 50% of renters are spending more than 30% of their gross household income on shelter, meaning that they are at risk of losing their home
      • We have seen homelessness counts increase across Simcoe Muskoka and we know that these numbers, high as they may be, are likely on the low side as Indigenous populations as well as those “living rough” – especially in more remote areas – are often not captured adequately in homeless enumerations     

This situation is not unique to Simcoe Muskoka – we are in the midst of a national crisis unlike anything we have seen or experienced in generations. In response, last week’s Federal Budget contained several measures to address housing and homelessness across Canada. A local project supported by United Way Simcoe Muskoka was even referenced in the budget: 

“..Community Living Huntsville received $125,000 through United Way Simcoe Muskoka to support a transitional housing project that supports adults with developmental disabilities, who have experienced chronic or periodic homelessness, to reach independent living within four years.” Budget 2024 (canada.ca). 

Your United Way was able to support this initiative through Infrastructure Canada’s Reaching Home funding. We are encouraged to see the Federal Government’s continued support of these types of projects with a substantial commitment of $1 billion in Reaching Home funding in the budget. 

Housing and homelessness are complex issues; as with all complex issues, there is no one solution to the problem. The Federal Government has taken a multi-pronged approach through the following three areas of focus: 

        1. Building more homes 
        2. Making it easier to rent or own a home 
        3. Helping Canadians who can’t afford a home 

The Government’s approach aligns well with United Way’s Bringing Affordable Housing Home Report, which outlines several policy recommendations to address housing and homelessness. Many of these recommendations are reflected in the Federal Budget.  

It will take efforts from all levels of government, as well as players from across the charitable and private sector, to come together to solve our current housing crisis. Your United Way is committed to being part of the solution. 

We will continue to invest in community projects focused on addressing housing and homelessness: projects like Community Living’s transitional housing initiative in Huntsville. 

We will continue to connect individuals in low-income households to financial supports that they need so they can keep their homes.  

We will also continue to advocate for further government funding and policy change to support those experiencing and at risk of experiencing homelessness.  

The 2024 Federal Budget is a first step in the right direction, but it is only that.  

A first step.  

There is much more work to be done. 

To learn more about the Federal Budget visit budget 2024

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