One of the City Council’s top priorities is its 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. The plan, developed with community partners, aims to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2024. The City and its partners believe everyone should have a place to call home.
But what does that mean and how do we get there?
The City's goal is that by 2024 everyone in Ottawa has a home and any emergency shelter stays are less than 30 days.
Although this is a challenging feat, the City is investing heavily in affordable housing options. In April 2015, City Council approved the funding for the Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario Program, which will invest $48.3 million between 2014 and 2020. In September 2016, an additional $19.17 million was allocated, increasing the total funding to $67.47 million.
Both the Federal and Provincial Government offer social support to the City through The Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative.
What is the City doing?
This money is used in several ways. First and foremost, this funding builds new affordable housing units. Funding is also used for retrofits for existing units, rental subsidies, housing allowances and social supports.
Last year alone, 280 new affordable housing options were created and 1,550 new spaces since 2013, helping Ottawa’s most vulnerable families and individuals find homes. This includes:
- 48 new units
- 100 rent supplements
- 132 housing allowances
The City currently has 22,500 affordable housing options in its stock of which 17,848 are rent-geared-to-income which includes rent supplements.
Living independently isn't an easy thing for all residents. Investments are also made in our social infrastructure to ensure supports for those who require them.
By providing a permanent place to live, as well as supports and services, the City is helping our most vulnerable residents find a place to call home and reducing the demand on emergency shelters.
Today, the Government of Canada announced a National Housing Strategy which is great news for Ottawa. The Strategy recognizes housing as 'fundamental right' and will provide additional funding and infrastructure for affordable housing options that will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Money for retrofits and new builds are much needed. Increased funding and new programs will support the City, in collaboration with community partners, to achieve the objectives of the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.
Find out more about the City's 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan on ottawa.ca.