Peel calls for immediate action to address affordable housing crisis

By March 9, 2023March 13th, 2023Issues, Ward 1

March 9, 2023

Peel Region joins the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in calling for the provincial government to work more collaboratively with municipalities on efforts to increase the supply of housing, and for it to tackle the homelessness crisis in Ontario.

AMO, a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments, presented these top priorities for the 2023 provincial budget to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

Increasing the supply of housing is a priority for municipalities across Ontario, including Peel. Today, Regional Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government of Ontario to take urgent action to end homelessness.

In Peel, the affordable housing crisis is seen in many ways, including:

  • Shelter use increased by 26.9% in 2021
  • 50% of demand for people with need for supportive housing continues to go unmet
  • An estimated 91,000 households are in core housing need
  • An average income family would have to save a down payment over 30 years for an affordable monthly mortgage at today’s home prices

The provincial government’s Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 will reduce Peel’s ability to fund affordable housing projects by an estimated $200 million.

Predictable and sustainable funding is needed to ensure municipalities can provide adequate housing services to meet the needs of their communities. Peel Region is advocating to the Government of Ontario for the creation of a municipal compensation fund to compensate the Region, and its local municipalities, in order that they be provided appropriate funding to counteract the impacts of Bill 23 on municipal growth funding revenues and expenditures.

AMO’s pre-budget submission also highlights that the Government of Ontario’s per capita spending on programming is the lowest in Canada at $2,000 less per person than the national average. It states the homelessness crisis in Ontario is a direct result of decades of provincial underinvestment in areas such as affordable housing, community mental health and income assistance programs.

Peel Regional Chair Nando Iannicca says: “We’re calling on the Government of Ontario to work with AMO, municipalities and other partners to increase the supply of affordable housing and to urgently develop and implement an action plan to achieve this goal and end homelessness once and for all.”

Peel Regional Councillor and AMO Board member Paul Vicente says: “Homelessness is a social, economic, and health crisis and clearly, urgent action is needed. We need the provincial government to commit to ending homelessness.”