Economy may be recovering, but housing numbers show thousands still
TORONTO, June 6, 2011 /CNW/ - The number of households on social housing
waiting lists across Ontario has jumped nearly 18% to 152,077 over the
last two years, according to a report released today by the Ontario
Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA).
The findings of ONPHA's 2011 Report on Waiting List Statistics for Ontario shows that the number of households waiting for social housing
continues to grow despite the modest economic recovery in Ontario. As
of January, 152,077 households were on waiting lists for financially
assisted housing in Ontario - a 7.4% increase since 2010 and an almost
18% jump (22,824 households) from the 129,253 seniors, singles and
families on waiting lists in 2009.
"Despite discussion of economic recovery, it is clear that many
households are struggling to find a stable home they can afford," said
Sharad Kerur, ONPHA's Executive Director. "While employment numbers may
be improving, many Ontarians are living through an uneasy economic
recovery characterized by reduced work hours, lost jobs or new jobs at
Many workers undergoing employment transitions need immediate housing
assistance, but find that they will likely wait years to be housed.
Discouraged by lengthy waiting times, in some cases up to 15 years,
many households in need walk away without applying.
"In reality, the actual number of people requiring assistance is even
higher than these statistics suggest," said Kerur. "Over 260,000
households spend more than half of their income on housing and
virtually all of them would be eligible for financially assisted
housing - the numbers we see on waiting lists are really just the tip
of the iceberg."
The 2011 report found that waiting list applications in all three groups
studied - seniors, non-senior singles and families - have increased. In
particular, the number of seniors in need is rising quickly, with
active applications in this group up 10% since last year. As Ontario's
population ages, more and more seniors will require access to
community-based housing, making it a significant long-term issue that
will need to be addressed if the province is going to meet the needs of
aging parents and grandparents.
"Housing is the foundation of inclusive communities, strong economies
and healthy families," says Kerur. "The provincial Long-Term Affordable
Housing Strategy provides a starting point, but the on-going needs of
an aging population and a changing workforce will require lasting and
consistent funding for new affordable housing development. Our members
and other concerned citizens will be calling on candidates of all
political stripes to articulate their vision for Ontario's affordable
housing infrastructure in the months ahead."
For over 20 years, ONPHA has been the voice of non-profit housing in
Ontario. Our 760 member organizations operate more than 160,000
non‐profit housing units and provide housing for approximately 400,000
people such as the elderly, low‐income families with children, the
working poor, victims of violence and abuse, people living with
developmental disabilities, mental illness, HIV/AIDS or addictions and
the formerly homeless/hard‐to‐house.
ONPHA's members include municipal and private non-profits of all sizes,
with all types of funding. A copy of the report can be found at: www.onpha.on.ca
SOURCE Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)
For further information:
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association