Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP, Lou Rinaldi came to Colborne on August 20 looking for answers to Ontario's housing problems.
Over a year ago the local MPP was appointed to a committee charged with the responsibililty of finding a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. In its deliberations and consultations the group decided to spend more time establishing a long-term affordable housing strategy.
This year the province is hosting province-wide consultations on the subject as the government prepares to create a 10-year strategy and benchmarks. When the plan is in place the provincial government intends to put some money into the program to improve housing for the less fortunate.
The government is aware of the need for housing. The question is how to fix the problem. That question brought about 25 people to the Keeler Centre for round-table discussions and recommendations.
The Keeler Centre discussions produced the following recommendations:
The federal and provincial governments should not be involved in the direct delivery of housing; they should provide the money.
The municipality should be the key provider of housing. Municipal politicians and staff know their communities. They can implement the guidelines.
The private sector shold provide some of the needed housing, but it must be made attractive for those involved.
Non-profit organizations should manage the housing and be the landlords. This sector will make the housing affordable. And not all housing should be rental properties.
Housing costs must be kept below 30% of a family's income. People need better places to live.
There should be tax incentives for landlords and more suppoerted care for tenants. A shelter allowance is needed for the working poor and a utility trust fund. Better transpportation is needed, especially in rural areas. Developers should be forced to have a percentage of moderately priced homes in their developments.
The group also suggested that needs must be measured and effectiveness assessed.
When clients rent costs are assessed they should be based on the current year's income, not the previous year's. And somehow, the condition of the housing stock should be measured.
Mr. Rinaldi will take the recommendations from this meeting and others he is attending to his committee. The public is welcome to add further comments or suggestions by the end of the year.
Email them to - email@example.com
Fax them to - 416-585-7607
or mail them to - Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Housing Policy Branch
14th Floor, 777 Bay St.
Toronto M5G 2E5
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Posted by Cramahe Now at 00:26