Mississauga and Brampton calling for affordable housing, say shelter use up over 25%

By

Published March 9, 2023 at 3:58 pm

homeless_woman

Peel Region (Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon) has joined the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in calling on the province to work collaboratively with cities on affordable housing and ending the homelessness crisis.

Regional Council unanimously passed a motion today (March 9) demanding the Ontario government take urgent action to end homelessness by increasing the supply of affordable housing.

According to the Region, the affordable housing crisis in Peel has presented itself in multiple ways:

  • Shelter use increased by 26.9 per cent in 2021
  • 50 per cent of demand for people who need 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

“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,” said Regional Chair Nando Iannicca.

The province’s Bill 23, also known as the More Homes Built Faster Act, passed in November with the goal of building hundreds of thousands of new homes in Ontario by 2031.

The bill was met with criticism from various groups and municipalities. Peel Region stated the bill “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,” the Region said in a statement on Thursday.

“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, a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments, says 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.

“Homelessness is a social, economic, and health crisis and clearly, urgent action is needed,” said Regional Councillor and AMO Board member Paul Vicente.

During the previous Regional Council meeting on Feb. 23, councillors expressed a need for more support and guidance from the province in order to meet Bill 23’s housing goals, estimating a total cost of $20 billion to build the required homes by the target year of 2031.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said there were “too many unknowns and too much uncertainty” when it came to how, when and where Peel would build these new homes, and also expressed concern that Bill 23 did not guarantee developers would be able to pass cost savings onto homebuyers.

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising