The City of Kington will receive more than $6.52 million and the County of Lanark more than $2.24 million as part of the Ontario government’s effort to put people first by providing over $1 billion dollars in 2018-19 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness.
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark made the announcement today after the government revealed Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy this week.
“It’s a plan to transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most. Our government believes Ontario families shouldn’t have to live in buildings with crumbling walls, leaking roofs and broken elevators,” said Clark. “We will work with municipalities and non-profits to address issues like safety, overcrowding and long wait lists.”
Under the funding, the City of Kingston will receive the following:
- $870,300 in Investment in Affordable Housing Ontario funding
- $4,157,622 through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative
- $1,375,600 under the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative
- $114,696 from the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative
Lanark County will receive the following:
- $312,200 in Investment in Affordable Housing Ontario funding
- $1,276,996 through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative
- $537,200 under the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative
- $116,001 from the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative
“We are putting families first and investing more in housing and homelessness, including supportive housing, than any other level of government,” said Clark.
Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy, meanwhile, includes early steps to improve community housing across the province:
- Encouraging tenants to seek opportunities at school and work by removing existing penalties for working more hours or going to college or university.
- Making rent more predictable by simplifying rent calculations.
- Freeing up the waitlist by having tenants prioritize their first choice and accept the first unit they are offered, while allowing Service Managers flexibility to make exceptions in extenuating circumstances.
- Protecting tenants who receive child support payments by ensuring their rent is not impacted by payments.
- Making housing available to those who truly need it by requiring an asset test.
- Making housing safer by empowering housing providers to turn away tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity.
- In 2014-18, Ontario contributed 57 per cent of housing and homelessness spending, compared with just 17 per cent from the federal government.
- Community housing is provided by non-profit, co-operative and municipal housing agencies. It includes a range of programs from subsidized social and affordable housing, including housing for Indigenous people, to rent supplements and portable housing benefits that help people find housing in the private market.