ONPHA’s Fall 2020 advocacy roundup
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, disproportionately impacting racialized and other marginalized communities, ONPHA remains committed to advocacy at all levels of government to ensure our communities are protected and supported for the long-term. We also continue to work closely with sector partners to advance shared priorities for the broad housing and non-profit sectors, emphasizing the need for policy-based solutions built on community experience and expertise.
Following the significant advocacy work we undertook over the summer, this fall we focused on the 2020 provincial budget, improving supportive housing, and ongoing sector collaboration. Throughout our submissions, ONPHA continued to highlight the need for sustainable investment to stabilize, renew, and grow the community housing sector, including equitable supports for diverse community needs.
Fall 2020 budget consultations and analysis
ONPHA shared a submission to the Province’s delayed Fall 2020 Budget, reaffirming many of our advocacy positions on economic recovery, including the need for immediate stabilization funding for providers, arrears management and/or rental relief for tenants, and investment in construction and renewal to sustain and grow the broad housing sector over the long-term.
Following the Budget’s release, ONPHA shared an in-depth analysis of the top five takeaways for community housing. While we were disappointed that housing was not a key focus of the 2020 Budget, the Province has committed to releasing the 2021 Budget by March 31, 2021 and consultations are now underway.
As we prepare for engagement opportunities related to the 2021 Budget, ONPHA will continue advocating for housing to be central to economic recovery planning, including exploring joint advocacy opportunities with sector partners.
Improving supportive housing engagement
As the Province ramped up its consultation on community housing renewal this fall, ONPHA shared a submission to the supportive housing engagement process, highlighting the need for investment in an integrated, client-centred approach, prioritization of the supportive housing sector for development, true partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations, and meaningful engagement with diverse communities with lived experience.
Among ONPHA’s top strategic priorities is the development of a community-informed Integrated Supportive Housing Plan for Ontario.
We also expect further sector engagement opportunities related to regulation development for the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020 to begin shortly, and will share information with members as it becomes available.
Joint sector advocacy
ONPHA signed onto a joint advocacy letter led by the Ontario Nonprofit Network calling for stabilization funding and insurance protection for the non-profit sector, and a non-profit advisory table to inform economic recovery planning.
While ONPHA was pleased to see legislation passed that will provide COVID-19 liability protection for workers, volunteers, and organizations following public health guidelines and laws in good faith, providers continue to face skyrocketing insurance rates and require immediate stabilization funding to address increased costs and decreased revenues.
Work is already underway on a number of ONPHA’s top advocacy priorities for 2021, including:
- Support for a national “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy, following the lead of the CHRA Indigenous Caucus and building on ONPHA’s Urban and Rural Indigenous Housing Plan for Ontario
- Engagement with key provincial, municipal, and sector partners on the critical end of mortgage issue in support of ONPHA’s recently launched Solutions Lab on Community Housing for the Future: Taking Collective Action Toward Resiliency
- Submissions to upcoming provincial and federal budget consultation processes focused on sector stabilization, renewal, sustainability, and growth, including exploring opportunities for cross-sector collaboration