TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The provincial commitment to a new Housing
Benefit is a major step forward in addressing the economic pressures
facing low-income Ontarians, says a diverse coalition of non-profit
housing providers, private sector landlords, food banks and policy
"We are very pleased that the government has made the important decision
to explore an Ontario Housing Benefit," said Gail Nyberg, Executive
Director of Daily Bread Food Bank. "The Housing Benefit is the next
step in strengthening Ontario's income security system and improving
housing affordability. We look forward to working with the government
on the new benefit."
Released today, Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy commits
to exploring a new Ontario Housing Benefit. Unlike other provinces, the
only permanent housing benefit provided in Ontario is paid exclusively
to social assistance recipients. The working poor do not get any
on-going help to cover the cost of their housing making the transition
from social assistance to the labour market more difficult.
"A new Housing Benefit is an important tool in the strategy's toolbox
that will provide affordable housing in Ontario," said Sharad Kerur,
Executive Director of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. "It
can help to bridge the affordability gap between what housing costs and
what people can afford."
A coalition of industry and community organizations has developed a
detailed proposal to help low-income working age renters with high
shelter-to-income burdens in communities across Ontario, particularly
in the Ottawa and Greater Toronto Areas where rents are higher. In the
proposal, the average benefit for unattached, low-income single adults
would be $96 per month, and $119 per month for families.
"Now is the right time to take action on a Housing Benefit that balances
Ontario's fiscal circumstances and the pressures facing low-income
families. A carefully designed, fiscally prudent Benefit is smart
policy to help low-income renters make ends meet," said Vince Brescia,
President and CEO of the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of
A Housing Benefit was specifically referenced by the Social Assistance
Review Advisory Council in its recent report as a next step in the
modernization of income security programs in the province.
The Housing Benefit Working Group is a unique coalition that includes
both private sector and front-line agencies that work with low-income
communities on the ground, including: Federation of Rental Housing
Providers of Ontario; Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association; Greater
Toronto Apartment Association; Daily Bread Food Bank; Ontario Campaign
2000; Metcalf Charitable Foundation; and Atkinson Charitable
For background on the Housing Benefit and the group's proposal visit cr="true" href="http://www.dailybread.ca">www.dailybread.ca
Daily Bread Food Bank is fighting to end hunger in our communities.
SOURCE Daily Bread Food Bank
For further information: For further information:
Director, Research and Communications, Daily Bread Food Bank