The number of households on affordable housing waiting lists is at an all-time high of 141,635 across Ontario – a jump of almost 10% in the last year. The 2010 survey by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association not only shows that the wait for a healthy, affordable home is longer than ever, but the long lists are discouraging people from signing up in the first place. So, the real number in desperate need of a good place to call home is considerably higher than the official figure. “This is the most significant increase we have seen since we began collecting this data,” says Sharad Kerur, ONPHA’s executive director. “While the brunt of the recession may be over, families in Ontario are still struggling to find housing they can afford. In many communities, unemployment will remain a significant problem and we anticipate that waiting lists will only continue to grow in the years ahead.” The Ontario government has promised a comprehensive affordable housing plan by June – and the Wellesley Institute, along with our partners in the Housing Network of Ontario, are counting down the days until the detailed strategy is released.
About Michael Shapcott
Michael Shapcott is Director, Affordable Housing and Social Innovation at the Wellesley Institute, an independent, non-profit research and policy dedicated to advancing urban health. Michael has worked extensively in Toronto, in many parts of Canada, nationally and internationally on social innovation, the non-profit sector, civic engagement, housing and housing rights, poverty, social exclusion, urban health and health equity. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading community-based housing and homelessness experts.