AMO Supports FCM's Call for Intergovernmental Action on Housing and Homelessness



    TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario
(AMO) supports the position of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
that a national policy and funding framework is required to address chronic
homelessness and the need for affordable housing in our communities. The FCM
released its National Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness in Vancouver
today which calls for greater federal funding to address Canada's affordable
housing shortage and eliminate chronic homelessness.
    "The Federal Government must put an end to the chronic uncertainty around
affordable housing in this country and play a strong leadership role by
committing to a long-term strategy working with provinces and municipalities
as well as the community sector," said FCM President, Gord Steeves.
    "Ontario municipalities are struggling to manage housing services that
were downloaded to municipalities in the 1990s, and declining federal
investments in housing and homelessness programs is one of the most
significant financial risks that Ontario's municipalities face today," said
Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
"Engaging the federal government in a national housing strategy is a priority
for municipal governments in every part of Ontario."
    More than 100,000 people who need housing in Ontario sit on waiting lists
- some for as long as twelve years.
    Addressing affordable housing and homelessness is a core component of
poverty reduction and is directly related to positive health and education
outcomes as well as vibrant and economically strong communities. In addition
to the social costs of homelessness, the lack of affordable housing will
continue to result in high costs in emergency and institutional response
systems, including paramedic and police services, hospital and shelter
expenses, criminal justice costs, and rehabilitation services.
    "The lack of a comprehensive, sustained strategy to address the pressures
of affordable housing and chronic homelessness is an economic issue with
consequences for every order of government," said Reycraft. "The commitment
and cooperation of federal, provincial and municipal orders of government, is
needed immediately to find solutions and help Canadians in need."

    AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's
445 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal
government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a
vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.





For further information:

For further information: Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director, (416)
971-9856, ext. 316 or (416) 729-4394; Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, (416)
729-5425


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