Sunday, September 20, 2020
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July 19, 2019

Doug Ford is quietly planning over $100 million in cuts to housing and rent support programs

As blogged on, the Ontario government’s 2019-2020 expenditure estimates for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing show more cuts are coming to housing supports, rent support and homeless assistance efforts.

Housing advocates recently expressed worry after the Ford government cancelled a plan for 800 units of affordable housing in the GTA. But the most-recent budget estimates suggest this is just the start of the attacks on provincial housing supports.

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Although the provincial government announced a Community Housing Renewal Strategy, its budget estimates announced lower spending for key expenditure items compared to last year.

For line item 1904, titled “Housing Program,” known in the estimates from the previous year as the “Affordable Housing Program,” deep cuts are estimated.

The estimates say:

“The objectives of this program are to: deliver on the government’s commitments on community housing, homelessness and market housing; create a regulatory framework that protects tenants and landlords and encourages maintenance and investment in new rental housing; and, support municipalities, housing providers and other external stakeholders, to help them meet their housing responsibilities. To meet its objectives, the program provides a full range of services: policy development, program design and delivery, complaints resolution and enforcement, and funding housing programs.”

Yet, for the year 2019-20, the government budgeted to spend $864,117,200. That’s down from last year’s $942,543,100  — a difference of over $78 million.

The government also estimated a $10 million reduction in a program titled “Ending Homelessness” from $73 million in 2018-19 to $63 million in 2019-20.

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