Report: Challenges and Opportunities for Affordable Housing in Northern Ontario

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North at Home report highlights Northern Ontario’s most pressing affordable housing needs

A new report by the Advocacy Center for Tenants Ontario and Advocacy North identifies critical housing needs affecting tenants across Northern Ontario. The report is a comprehensive analysis of affordable housing issues specific to the North, drawing from a range of resources – from first-hand accounts of residents, community and legal clinic workers, to key interviews with housing stakeholders, municipal officers and a review of academic literature.

Click here to view the full report.

“We cannot keep warning that a housing crisis is coming – the crisis is here. The good news is that there are solutions available. Governments of all levels need to listen to the experts and their communities. They need turn their efforts (and money) to crisis management and long-term planning right now.” Meghan MacDonald, Community Legal Worker with the Lake Country Community Legal Clinic.

The report outlines seven areas of concern in Northern Ontario, and provides concrete solutions for addressing the North’s most pressing affordable housing problems. Key findings include:

  • Northern Ontario is losing its existing housing stock due to disrepair. Adequate funding for repairs is necessary to maintain the region’s housing stock.
  • The lack of affordable housing in Northern Ontario requires innovative solutions. The conversion of existing buildings, including former public schools or hospitals, can be a fast and cost-effective means of developing affordable housing.
  • Low and moderate income residents are increasingly being priced out by the private rental market. Facilitating the development of non-profit housing is necessary to ensure Northern Ontarians can find safe, affordable housing.
  • Stronger partnerships between levels of government, sectors and organizations can make more effective use of limited resources to serve the needs Northern Ontario households.
  • Eviction prevention programs are critical for supporting low-income households, while also working to enhance housing stability and offset the region’s growing homelessness problem.

Northern Ontario’s unique geography, climate and population have shaped the key needs and challenges of the region’s housing sector. Housing programs and investments coming from the Provincial and Federal governments must understand the different realities and needs of housing in the North. Only then will the housing crisis in Northern Ontario be effectively addressed.

For more information, contact Marcos Gomez at 705-989-4901

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