2015 Ontario budget prioritizes infrastructure
The 2015 provincial budget, Building Ontario Up, promises an unprecedented investment in public infrastructure and transit. ONPHA welcomes this investment in moving Ontario forward as transit and housing issues are invariably linked. However, we also hope that in coming months the Province will expand their definition of infrastructure to include social housing through Bill 6, Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, which would give municipalities the option to invest infrastructure dollars in social housing communities.
While the budget does not include any new funding specifically for housing, ONPHA recognizes the commitments already made with the five-year extension of the Investment in Affordable Housing program. The Province also plans regulatory reform through a revised Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy which could also impact the Housing Services Act.
Of concern in yesterday’s budget are social assistance rates, which despite a modest increase of 1 per cent continue to be too low to afford housing in many communities. ONPHA is currently conducting a research project to explore options to better help households meet their housing affordability needs.
Going forward, ONPHA will continue to advocate to senior governments for dedicated and flexible long-term funding for social and affordable housing.
Last February, ONPHA was invited to contribute input on the provincial budget. Click for details on ONPHA’s 2015 pre-budget submission.