Affordable housing wait lists in Ontario continue to grow, but those numbers no longer tell the full story, according to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.
A record 171,360 Ontario households were waiting for affordable housing in 2015, with average wait times of almost four years, according to an annual report that tracks need across the province.
But the report, being released Wednesday by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, will be the organization’s last.
With the province set to introduce a portable housing benefit and municipalities offering housing supplements and other programs to subsidize rent, the association says its annual tally of households waiting for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units no longer represents the full picture of supply and need in Ontario.
The association will be develop new ways to track the province’s affordable-housing landscape for future reports. (Housing is generally defined as “affordable” when a household pays no more than 30 per cent of gross income on shelter costs.)
“All levels of government have begun exploring financial assistance options beyond RGI housing,” says the association, which represents more than 700 non-profit housing providers in the province that oversee more than 163,000 affordable units.
“Data from RGI waiting lists . . . doesn’t accurately reflect the depth of housing need in Ontario, or the various other ways in which people are getting help with housing costs in their communities,” the report says.
With that caveat, the report notes demand for RGI units continues to grow, with a 1.6 per cent increase last year over 2014.
In Toronto, the waiting list increased by 5.1 per cent to 82,414 households. Average wait times in the city are among the longest in the province, with families languishing on the list for almost 10 years and seniors waiting just a year less.
Maybe instead of building windmills for billions, they should be building homes for people. Instead of stealing billions for pals they should give incentives for private development.