Canadian Social Research Links

Ontario NDP Affordable Housing & Anti-Poverty Plan


September 16, 2011

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From: Dan O'Brien <dobrien@on.ndp.ca>
To: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2011 12:36:10 PM

Subject: NDP Affordable Housing & Anti-Poverty Plan

Dear friends and colleagues,

Today, Ontario’s New Democrats announced several key commitments to round out our plan for reducing and eliminating poverty in Ontario.

Here’s what’s new in our affordable housing and anti-poverty plan:

Over five years, we will phase in a new housing benefit that will help almost 200,000 low-income individuals and families to better afford their rent. The average amount of the benefit, when fully phased in, will be $96/month for individuals and $120/month for families. The program will cost $240 million a year when fully implemented. We are investing $545 million in the housing benefit over the next four years.

We are committing to a 10-year affordable housing plan to build 50,000 new affordable housing units. With sustained provincial funding reaching $150 million a year, we will build over 14,000 units in the next four years.

These ambitious targets will be achieved through:
Partnered funding with the federal government (starting with a 3-year, $480 million bilateral agreement).
Improved housing provider access to low-cost financing through the expansion and reform of the Infrastructure Ontario Affordable Housing Loan Fund.
Legislation enabling Ontario municipalities to implement inclusionary housing policies that require a minimum percentage of affordable units in new housing developments.

We will put in place a new dental care program that will provide emergency dental care to 50,000 low-income adults each year using unspent funds from the government’s 2008 Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

These new initiatives complement our previously announced anti-poverty commitments which include:
An immediate increase to the minimum wage to $11/hour and then indexing it to the cost of living.
A commitment to take prompt action next year on the recommendations of the Commission for the Review on Social Assistance and to develop a new five-year poverty reduction strategy with targets in 2013.
An immediate increase to OW and ODSP rates to ensure they keep up with inflation while the review of social assistance is conducted.
An 50% increase to the Work-Related Benefit for all ODSP recipients with employment earnings (up to $150/month).
An end to the clawback on the first $300 of monthly earnings for ODSP recipients who take a job (the benefit will last for the first 12 months of employment).
A two-year $250 million dollar investment in child care to freeze child care fees and keep centres from closing.
A freeze on public transit fares.
Crack down on employment standards violations by hiring 30 new enforcement officers.

I know that many of you have worked hard to push for action on poverty and that you have advocated for many of these measures. I hope we can work together to put these commitments into practice to stem the recent increases in poverty. We can work towards eliminating poverty in Ontario.

I hope you will take time to consider our Affordable Housing & Anti-Poverty Plan, to share it with others, and to let us know what you think of it.

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