National Housing Day

United Ways are committed to bringing together local experts to address complex social issues.

It was in this spirt that last month United Ways from across Ontario convened a series of community conversations to better understand one of the most critical issues of our time – access to safe affordable housing.

Almost 400 individuals from not-for-profit organizations across the Province participated in these conversations, out of which came Bringing Affordable Housing Home:  An Action Plan for Housing Stability in Ontario. The report outlines the following seven recommendations to address our current housing crisis:

Federal, provincial, and municipal governments make surplus lands and assets available to non-profit and co-operative housing providers to grow deeply affordable and supportive housing options across Ontario.

Federal, provincial, and municipal governments increase investment in and improve greater access to financing for the development of affordable and deeply affordable homes across Ontario.

The provincial government, in partnership with municipal governments, provides development incentives that prioritize non-profit housing organizations and establishes flexible programs that maximize the community housing sector’s capacity to compete in the housing market effectively.

The provincial government in partnership with federal and municipal governments, provides consistent and predictable long-term funding to preserve the existing deeply affordable housing and supportive housing options offered by the community housing sector.

All levels of government provide housing stabilization and eviction prevention supports and strengthen tenant protections to help renters access and maintain affordable and secure homes.

The federal and provincial governments address and prioritize persistent housing and homelessness challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples through a dedicated strategy, programs and supports developed and implemented in partnership with Indigenous leaders, diverse Indigenous communities, housing providers, and all levels of government.

The federal and provincial governments coordinate housing strategies, plans and programs with municipal governments while promoting cross-sector collaboration and resource sharing.

I am proud to share that your United Way Simcoe Muskoka was one of the 20 United Ways to host the community conversations that led to the Bring Affordable Housing Home report. To this end, I would like to acknowledge and thank the local organizations that worked with us to support our input into this project:

    • Biminaawzogin Regional Aboriginal Women’s Circle
    • CFSCW
    • Community Living Association for South Simcoe
    • CONTACT Community Services
    • The District of Muskoka
    • Empower Simcoe
    • Mind-Aid
    • Muskoka Victim Services
    • The County of Simcoe
    • Waypoint Centre
    • Youth Haven

The Bringing Affordable Housing Home report concludes with the following powerful statement:

“There are moments in time when, with the right mix of commitment, incentive, investment and collaboration, the seemingly impossible is made possible. This is such a moment. Let’s seize it together.”

I wish to strongly echo these concluding calls to action.

By embracing these recommendations outlined in the report, we can move from a housing crisis to a housing solution.

Bria n Shelley
Brian Shelley
Chief Executive & Philanthropy Officer
United Way Simcoe Muskoka

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