TORONTO, May 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With more than one-in-five Ontario renter households facing a crisis level of spending and rent increases far outpacing incomes, a coalition of housing advocates and providers have released a bold plan to make a significant difference for nearly 650-thousand Ontario households through strategic investments across a range of housing needs.

An Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario makes four key recommendations to build 69,000 new rental homes, deliver strategic income supports for 311,000 Ontario households, extend the life of 260,000 existing community housing units, and create 30,000 new supportive housing units for those living with mental health issues and addictions over the next 10-years.

“Ontario is at a crossroads when it comes to housing affordability,” said Marlene Coffey, Executive Director of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. “Now is the time to seize the opportunity to make key investments and implement a bold plan that will ensure quality, affordable housing is there for families and those who need it across the province.”

The recently released Canadian Rental Housing Index shows a worsening picture for housing affordability in Ontario with average housing costs increasing at a pace nearly double that of incomes. In addition, the Index showed that affordability challenges are no longer just a problem in urban centres, but are rapidly spreading to suburbs and smaller communities as well.

“We have an incredible opportunity for Ontario’s future if we choose to take action,” said Simone Swail, Manager of Government Relations for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region. “In other parts of Canada, the community housing sector and governments have partnered to ensure a steady supply of necessary, affordable housing that not only improves the situation for those who need it, but also helps stabilize the private rental market as well.”

The Plan calls for a commitment of $3.2-billion per year over the next 10-years from all three levels of government and the community housing sector. That investment is expected to see a return of $4.8-billion a year in economic benefits such as job creation, additional tax revenue, and significant reductions in government spending on healthcare and the justice system.

“The Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario is not only an investment in families and communities, but an investment in Ontario’s economic future as well,” said Swail. “Every $1 invested in this plan will see $1.50 in either savings to government or economic benefits.”

Those campaigning in Ontario’s provincial election as well as local and federal leaders are urged to read the plan and take concrete action to make a difference for the future of millions of Ontarians.

“Affordable housing is at the forefront of community building and an important component of growing Ontario's infrastructure for the future,” added Coffey. “Our plan offers a solution to Ontario's growth strategy by unlocking affordable housing supply and providing an opportunity for those interested in housing affordability to join the conversation.”

Download or view the full report at An Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario or on the website.

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Emily Gale
CHF Canada Media Relations
Tel: 902-599-2059