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Posted by on Apr 2014 in All Stories, News Updates | 0 comments

Spring showers may bring an early election

Elections are an opportunity. With planning and help from members, they’re a chance to highlight the important role of affordable housing in Ontario, showcase our members’ hard work and build a foundation for working with the incoming government. With a spring election expected, we’re preparing to engage incumbents and candidates in a discussion about affordable housing in Ontario.

Our “asks”
We’ve completed research that answers some big questions in the housing sector. While action on our recommendations is encouraged, we’re proposing three steps that an incoming provincial government can take to improve Ontarians’ access to affordable homes and strengthen their tenancies and communities:

  • Improve availability of affordable housing: Communities face different barriers to housing. We’re encouraging the Province to fund new units in areas with low vacancy rates and to provide income supplements to households in areas with high vacancy rates.
  • Keep the stock in good repair: A history of inadequate capital funding means that the Province is risking the significant tax-payer investment that’s already been made in housing. We need help tackling outstanding repairs and a long-term strategy for maintaining and rebuilding units. Establish new provincial funding for support services directly targeted to vulnerable social housing tenants flowed through LHINs.
  • Supporting tenants with complex needs: Some tenants require more than income support to have a successful tenancy. This support often goes beyond what members and their community can provide. We need new solutions that reflect members’ expanding role and take steps to increase the availability of local support services and partnerships between the sector and health stakeholders.

Showcasing our members
ONPHA is the sum of its members and members are the best sector advocates. As in past elections, we’re encouraging members to meet with incumbents and candidates in their riding(s) to educate them about the role of affordable housing and the issues that members are facing locally and provincially. We are also identifying key ridings for targeted outreach throughout the province and will be recruiting members to meet with incumbents and candidates in those areas. We hope members will tell us that they’re interested during the upcoming Regional Meetings.

A new foundation
Elections campaigns are an important time to build new relationships with the individuals that may form the next government. Our work doesn’t stop once Ontarians have made their decision. Once a new government forms, we will continue and further develop the personal connections our members built during the campaign and maintain an on-going dialogue with elected officials about affordable housing in Ontario.

Want to meet with candidates, but unsure where to start? We’re here to help! Email us at communications@onpha.org for coaching, resources and more!

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