Number of Ontario families waiting for an affordable home reaches record high

At the end of 2013, over 165,000 Ontario households were waiting for housing assistance, according to a new report by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association

TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) has released its annual Waiting Lists Survey, showing a 4.2 per cent increase in demand for affordable housing in Ontario—the largest annual increase since 2010.

This year's report reveals the highest waiting lists total since ONPHA began collecting waiting list information ten years ago in 2003. Since then, nearly 40,000 households have joined the queue for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing.

ONPHA's Executive Director, Sharad Kerur said: "These numbers show that the affordable housing crunch is not going to be solved by the current approach. We need a multi-pronged approach that includes rent supplements, housing allowances, new housing stock and repairs to existing buildings."

Keith Hambly, ONPHA's President added: "An investment in affordable housing is an investment in people. It pays important dividends to Ontario communities and is the foundation on which people have opportunities to thrive."

Quick facts:

  • In 2013, 3.17 per cent of all Ontario households were on waiting lists
  • Last year's average wait times for RGI housing ranged from several months to almost 10 years, with an average of 3.89 years across the province
  • Families face the longest waiting time, compared to other household categories (seniors and singles)
  • To house the 165,069 households currently on waiting lists, the province would need to increase the number of RGI units by 68 per cent

In addition to the 2014 Waiting Lists Survey report, this year ONPHA has created local Housing Summary Sheets that outline waiting list trends and housing initiatives in each region. These and the complete report will be available on ONPHA's website at

ONPHA is the voice of non-profit housing in Ontario. Our 770 member organizations operate more than 163,000 non‐profit housing units in over 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, 416-927-9144 ext. 102 (office), 416-723-2835 (cell),


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Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)

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