The federal and provincial governments Monday announced $801 million over the next five years for affordable housing in Ontario.
The funding is an extension of the existing Investment in Affordable Housing agreement.
“The renewed partnership between Canada and Ontario will help improve access to safe, suitable affordable housing,” Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin said.
The federal-provincial agreement is designed to deliver a range of affordable housing programs to address a dire need for both new and renovated housing.
McMeekin told reporters Ontario will use the money for building and renovating existing housing.
Federal Minister Candice Bergen told the news conference that affordable housing can lead to a better life.
“This makes good financial sense,” she said.
McMeekin said addressing poverty is a public policy priority. “Under this program Ontario will provide $400 million,” he said.
He said more than 10,000 new or renovated housing units are underway in Ontario.
“The need is great and the need is growing,” McMeekin said.
A 2013 report concluded that “staggering and worsening” shortage of affordable housing threatens the health and well-being of low- and moderate-income Ontarians and undermines the province’s economic competitiveness.
”The lack of a sufficient supply of affordable housing shuts the door on opportunity for too many Ontarians,” said the report by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region.
McMeekin said Monday as many as 12 per cent of Ontario residents are looking for proper housing.