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Burlington Mayor Supports Province’s Call to Federal Government to Give Ontario Fair Share of Affordable Housing Funding

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On Monday (May 31), I sent a letter to the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, outlining my support in joining the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Hon. Steve Clark, in the Province’s call on the federal government to give Ontario its fair share of affordable housing funding and help sustain, repair and grow community housing and address homelessness in Burlington.

Please see a copy of the letter below, or click here: Letter Minister Hussen May 31 2021.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Dear Minister Hussen,

I am writing to you to express my support in joining the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Hon. Steve Clark, in the province’s call on the federal government to give Ontario its fair share of affordable housing funding.

Ontario will receive approximately $490 million fewer dollars than it is due through the National Housing Strategy and the Reaching Home program when you factor Ontario’s share of households in Core Housing Need. Not only is Ontario underfunded, but only 25 of Ontario’s 47 Service Managers have Designated Communities that receive funding through the federal Reaching Home program.

Minister Steve Clark, along with our colleagues at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, have called on their counterparts at the federal level multiple times to secure the additional funding the province should be receiving in line with the population and needs of Ontario. We were thankful to Minister Clark for joining our most recent Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM) call on May 28th and highlight this issue, prompting OBCM to issue a similar letter of support. This is a pressing issue in need of long-term, forward-looking collaboration.

In order to combat homelessness and housing insecurity in Burlington, the federal government must provide Ontario with its fair share of stable, sustainable funding through the National Housing Strategy (NHS). Equitable support is also required through the Reaching Home program across all Ontario communities.

Through the Safe Restart Agreement that was announced on December 20, 2020, the provincial and federal governments provided municipalities with $4 billion to help offset financial pressures due to COVID-19. On March 10, 2021 the government of Ontario announced additional investments in housing services and supports, resulting in a total investment of $765 million through our Social Services Relief Fund that remains unmatched by the federal government.

Halton Region has developed a 10-year housing plan to add assisted and affordable housing, investing millions in additional dollars to serve our growing community. Burlington is committed to delivering affordable housing in our community, and this year launched a housing strategy consultation with housing providers, community members and other stakeholders, that will conclude early next year with action items. Securing Ontario’s fair sharing of funding will help Burlington deliver on those actions for our residents and help Halton Region successfully complete our housing plan.

I believe in a sustainable housing system where everyone has a safe place to call home. That’s why I am supporting the Ontario government in their request for funding in order to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and address homelessness in Burlington.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington

cc: Minister Stephen Clark, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
MPP Jane McKenna, Burlington
MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, Oakville North-Burlington
MPP Parm Gill, Milton

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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