Ontario AIDS Network - Media Release - Ontario Budget, March 22, 2007

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ -

    Positive steps

    Ontario continues to move in the right direction to meet the needs of
people living and dying with HIV and AIDS across Ontario. Highlights of the
2007 budget include:
    1. $1.5 million in new funding for AIDS Service Organizations and
       community-based HIV clinical services. The amount will increase to
       $2.5 million by 2010-11. The funds will be used to reach people who
       are at high risk for contracting HIV. The new budget provides
       $1.5 million in new funding starting in 2008 rising to $2.5 million by
    2. $7 million in new funding for addiction services
    3. $127 million in new funding for municipalities for new affordable
       housing or to rehabilitate existing housing
    4. $80 million for 1100 units of new off-reserve housing for low-income
       Aboriginal families.
    5. $185 million for a housing allowance for low-income working families.
       They would receive a provincial housing allowance of up to $100 a
    6. A 2% increase in social assistance rates
    7. $3 million for the new human rights system including funding for a new
       human rights legal support centre.
    8. $15 million to Legal Aid Ontario

    "The Ontario AIDS Network is pleased to see continued progress in
priority issues for people living with HIV in Ontario. These issues including
timely access to specialized services including addictions, poverty, access to
safe and affordable housing", said Rick Kennedy, Executive Director of the
Ontario AIDS Network. "We look forward to working with mental health and
housing organizations across the province to develop a coordinated approach to
complex issues."
    "We are pleased that the government has listened and responded to the
concerns that we continue to raise", said Kim Dolan, co-chair of the Ontario
AIDS Network, "as poverty and lack of access to safe and affordable housing
remains a serious problem for men, women and children living in Ontario".

    The Ontario AIDS Network is an association of 48 AIDS Service
Organizations and Programs working to establish a just and effective response

For further information:

For further information: Rick Kennedy, Executive Director at (416)
364-4555 ext 308, rkennedy@ontarioaidsnetwork.on.ca

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