We’ve got the answer! The Housing Answer!

We’ve got the answer! The Housing Answer!

Four years ago, Ottawa’s Mayor and City Councillors made a bold, progressive policy move with a new investment of $14 million each year to address homelessness and to fight poverty. Since 2011 we’ve seen an 18% drop in homeless families using emergency shelter, 1001 new households benefitting from rent supplements and housing allowances, and 575 new affordable housing units built or approved.

These are great improvements, but in 2013 the average length of stay in an Ottawa shelter was still 73 days, and 1,542 children stayed in a shelter. Ottawa needs to continue investing in what works – because every Ottawa resident needs an affordable place to call home.

The municipal election is a great opportunity to make sure that City Council maintains its commitment to affordable housing. A coalition of community groups, including CCOC, is working on a campaign called the Housing Answer asking candidates to pledge to increase financial support for the city’s Ten Year Housing and Homelessness Plan by $2 million in each year, ramping up to $8 million per year by 2018.

City Council can deliver this funding commitment without raising taxes. The original $14 million annual investment was made possible by the province “uploading” a number of social service costs, starting in 2009. These uploads continue and are increasing by approximately $5 million each year for the next four years. By 2018, an additional $20 million of annual service costs will be uploaded from the City’s budget and paid for by the province.

The increased annual funding could be used for:
• New rent supplements and housing allowances
• New affordable housing
• New supports, including targeted transitional initiatives, and homelessness prevention
• Preservation of existing rental housing to secure its affordability

Join us if you agree that every person in Ottawa needs an affordable place to call home.

You can be a part of the Housing Answer campaign, in five easy steps…
Step 1. Go to www.housinganswer.ca and pledge your support
Step 2. “like” the Housing Answer on facebook
Step 3. “follow” the Housing Answer on twitter
Step 4. Tell everyone what you think about affordable housing. Everyone. Really.
Step 5. Vote for candidates who support the Housing Answer

For information on where you go to vote,
call the Elections Office at 613-580-2660
or e-mail: elections@ottawa.ca

Who is the Housing Answer?
The Housing Answer is made up of six local networks and non-profits representing organizations working daily to end homelessness: Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa, Co-operative Housing Association of Eastern Ontario, Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization, Ottawa Social Housing Network, and Ottawa Supportive Housing Network.