The Housing Network of Ontario is working with Peel-based housing and homelessness advocates to ensure that the real solutions to the housing needs of people living in Peel Region are front and centre at the Monday (June 29th) provincial government housing consultation. The Assistant Deputy Minister – Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is expected to attend the forum at 6:30pm at Terry Miller Rec Centre, 1295 Williams Parkway in Brampton.
“Housing insecurity and homelessness are sometimes less visible in the
high-growth regions of the GTA, including Peel, York and Halton,” says Michael Shapcott of the Wellesley Institute, co-chair of the Housing Network of Ontario. “But there are plenty of housing problems: Homeless shelters, where they exist, are crowded; lower-income households are jammed into homes that are too small; line-ups at food banks are growing longer as more household income goes to rising housing costs and less is available for other necessities.”
The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, a member of the Housing
Network of Ontario, reports that social housing wait-lists across Ontario have grown to almost 130,000 households. Families in Peel Region have to wait almost 21 years to access affordable housing. “These issues have been discussed for years, and study after study has just been put on the shelf to gather dust. Tenants need this consultation to result in real action by the government,” says Robert Handy, a tenant activist living in Brampton. “We need changes to ensure that tenants have timely access to fairness and justice at the landlord and tenant board. Landlords can’t be allowed to repeatedly dodge their obligations to keep rental housing properly maintained.”
Local advocates will be joined by Yutaka Dirks, of the Advocacy Centre
for Tenants Ontario and co-chair of the Housing Network of Ontario, who says, “The government needs to listen to low-income Ontarians to develop a long-term plan that builds new affordable units, offers tenants increased legal protections, provides supports to help people maintain their housing and which addresses the gap between tenant incomes and rising rents. But there are actions that should be taken right away to help alleviate housing insecurity for the people of Peel Region.”
The Housing Network of Ontario (HNO) is a network of advocacy
organizations and individuals with lived experience of housing insecurity who support an integrated and fully-funded affordable housing strategy. To date, the HNO Declaration has been endorsed by more than 300 organizations and individuals.