ONPHA, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association has given the proposals their support on the SHRA initiatives, but comments quite fairly that what the system needs is more money, not just autonomy for municipalities to decide on how to run their programs. Quoting ONPHA's Executive Director:
There are some rumblings that when this bill is introduced, the government might try to sneak in some changes to the Residential Tenancies Act dealing with other residential tenancy issues as governments are sometimes prone to do. Here's the announcement posted today on the government's web site:
Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy will address the unique needs of individuals and communities by building a strong foundation that is based on four key pillars: putting people first, creating strong partnerships, supporting affordable options and accountability.
"As part of the strategy, the Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act will be introduced today. It would, if passed, reduce barriers to affordable housing by:
- Consolidating Ontario's housing and homelessness programs to give municipalities the flexibility to use funding to address local needs
- Simplifying the rent-geared-to-income calculation process so that most tenants would only declare their income once a year. This could allow them to use the extra money to improve their standard of living
- Expanding affordable housing options by requiring municipalities to set policies that would allow second units in new and existing developments
- Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of municipalities and the province to create stronger partnerships and greater accountability
The future of affordable housing depends on flexible, sustained funding. Ontario will work with municipalities to engage the federal government to commit to stable, long-term funding."
Expect the introduction of legislation shortly. There are some additional details of the government's plans at the link below:
More Info on Ontario Government Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy