May 20, 2010
Ontario’s registered nurses know that access to safe, affordable housing is a fundamental human right and a key determinant of health. As the provincial government prepares to release its Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy in June, now is the time to remind our elected representatives from all parties that Ontarians are looking for bold action to address our housing crisis.
All too often lack of affordable housing is what tips individuals and families in our province over the edge into poverty. One in five tenant households in Ontario spend over 50 per cent of their income on rent. Ontario’s housing costs are the highest of any province while Ontario is the worst among the provinces in terms of jurisdictional investment in affordable housing. There is now an all-time record high of 141,635 households on affordable housing waiting lists—a jump of almost 10 per cent in the last year.
Consistent with RNAO’s 2009 submission on the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, the Housing Network of Ontario has outlined Five Tests for Success. To address Ontario’s housing crisis, it is imperative that Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy is designed to be comprehensive with bold targets, sustained funding, and strong accountability measures. This includes annual funding to build a minimum of 10,000 universally accessible affordable homes for the 10 years of the Strategy, introducing a monthly Housing Benefit for low income Ontarians to close the gap between high housing costs and low incomes, and ensuring that the Strategy works for marginalized communities.
Please Act Now! Today is the day to let our elected leaders know what you think.