Housing waiting lists continue slow and steady climb

Demand for social housing reaches 158,445 households across Ontario

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The number of Ontario households waiting for affordable housing continued its slow and steady climb, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) reported today. At the end of 2012, 158,445 households were waiting for rent-geared-to-income housing, up more than 2,000 households from 2011. Households who received rent-geared-to-income housing in 2012 waited an average of 3.2 years.

"Despite modest improvements in Ontario's economy, demand for affordable housing continues to grow" said Sharad Kerur, ONPHA's Executive Director. "Aging baby boomers, stagnant wages and population growth are steadily driving demand. New units aren't being built and all levels of government need to take greater responsibility to keep the existing stock in good repair."

More than three per cent of Ontario households are now on waiting lists for affordable housing, the highest number since 2003. "We know that more and more Ontario families are struggling to afford housing" said Keith Hambly, ONPHA's President. "They're looking for short-term help to keep their homes or for longer-term support as they find employment or overcome family challenges. In either case, the support they need is rarely available."

The steady growth of housing waiting lists shows that the need for affordable housing isn't going away. While the rate of growth has slowed, more than 62,000 households applied for housing in 2012.  "To meet the current demand for housing, we'd need to almost double Ontario's rent-geared-to-income housing stock" said Kerur. "Housing affordability is a crisis in Ontario and it's having real consequences for the health and prosperity of Ontario families and communities."

ONPHA's 2013 Waiting Lists Survey Report is available at www.onpha.on.ca/waitinglist.

For 25 years, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) has been the voice of non-profit housing in Ontario.  Our 770 member organizations operate more than 163,000 non‐profit housing units in 220 communities in Ontario. They provide affordable homes to a diverse range of tenants, including: seniors; low‐income families with children; Aboriginal people; the working poor; victims of violence and abuse; people living with developmental disabilities, mental illness, addictions and HIV/AIDS; and the formerly homeless/hard‐to‐house.

SOURCE: Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)

For further information:

Media contact:

Sharad Kerur
Executive Director, ONPHA

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