Consultation on Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario: A Guide for TAEH and Toronto’s Housing, Homelessness and Related Sectors 

The Ontario government is currently asking for input on its Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation. This guide will help you fill out the consultation while giving you some important points to keep in mind. Please respond to the consultation document before January 25, 2019.

INTRODUCTION

We all know that Ontario has a serious affordable housing problem. According to Statistics Canada, the number of households in core housing need in Ontario is close to a quarter of a million, with Toronto having the highest percentage rate (20%) of households with core housing needs.

Not only is investing in affordable housing an opportunity to make life better for people all across Ontario for nearly all income groups and ages, it also is essential to our province’s economic and social growth.  

The lack of affordable housing is especially critical to the persistently high rate of homelessness, across Ontario and in Toronto.  According to the 2018 Street Needs Assessment, over 8,700 people are currently homeless in Toronto.

In particular, any provincial plan to increase housing supply must also include housing that addresses deep affordability as defined by a person or family’s assets, and not by the market, and to explore every person’s accessibility to choice in housing options.  At a minimum the cost of housing must be at least equal to the amount that people have access to via benefits and pensions. 

In late 2018 new research in the United States explains the link between the gap in housing affordability and homelessness

THE CONSULTATION

Until January 25th, the Ontario government is asking for input on its Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation.

Unfortunately, this consultation only focuses on ways to increase the supply of new ownership housing and private developments in Ontario. It explicitly states that “This consultation does not cover initiatives specifically related to community housing (e.g. social and supportive housing)”.  Indigenous housing is also no doubt also excluded in this definition.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t make our voices heard! The government is overlooking a strong partner in achieving housing affordability. The consultation attempts to create a separation that shouldn’t exist. We encourage the TAEH network and all advocates for an end to homelessness to take part – the more submissions they get from our point of view the more they have to pay attention.

This guide - developed in conversation with many other organizations and voices in community-based housing - will help you fill out the consultation while giving you some important points to keep in mind. Please respond to the consultation document before January 25, 2019. This can be done through an online survey or by providing written submissions to housingsupply@ontario.ca. Click here to access the guide.