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									   HOUSING AGAIN • Bulletin

Number 90 April 1, 2006

The Housing Again Bulletin, sponsored by Raising the Roof
as a partner in Housing Again.

A monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to
put housing back on the public agenda in Ontario, across Canada and
around the world.

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         In this Issue:
         Feature: Coalition Requests Immediate Action to Implement $1.6-Billion

         Community Profile: Celebrating Outstanding Work with Homeless Youth

      News Briefs: Ontario Budget 2006; Study Finds BC’s Welfare Rules
Contributing to Homelessness


Coalition Requests Immediate Action to Implement $1.6-Billion

The National Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, of which Raising the Roof and
many others are signatories, has sent a letter to Federal Minister of Human Resources and
Social Development also responsible for housing (CMHC) Diane Finley and Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty to request immediate action to implement the $1.6 billion
affordable housing fund authorized by Parliament in June of 2005.

“The latest rental market report from CMHC confirms that Canada continues to face a
nation-wide affordable housing crisis,” read the letter, which was signed by Raising the
Roof President Sean Goetz-Gadon. “The desperate conditions facing hundreds of
thousands of Canadian households underline the urgency in allocating the funding
approved by Parliament. Business and community organizations are in agreement that
investment in affordable housing is good for people, good for communities and good for
the economy.”

The NCHH believes that Aboriginal funding should be set aside for Aboriginal housing
providers, on and off-reserve. The best available mechanism for allocating the remainder
of the funding is the existing bilateral housing agreements signed by the federal
government and every province and territory under the terms of the Affordable Housing
Framework Agreement of November 2001.

The coalition is recommending that funding be allocated to the provinces and territories
on a per capita basis, and that the provinces and territories use the funding to create long-
term solutions to reduce homelessness, lower the number of households in core housing
need, and address other affordable housing issues. The accountability framework and
communications protocol in the existing framework can be used to ensure proper
accountability for the federal housing dollars.

“We believe that this approach will be strongly supported by the provinces.”

“At the local level, municipal governments, community partners and business
organizations are ready to participate in the social and affordable housing solutions, but
they need the Parliamentary housing funding to start flowing.”

The letter ends with an offer from representatives of the NCHH to meet with the
Ministers to discuss in detail the proposals for implementing the affordable housing
funding approved by Parliament.

Other signatories to the letter include: Joyce Potter (Canadian Housing Renewal
Association), Cathy Crowe (Toronto Disaster Relief Committee), Deborah Schlichter
(Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association), David Seymour (National Aboriginal
Housing Association), Carol Hunter (Canadian Co-operative Association), René
Daoust (Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada), Michael Shapcott (National
Housing and Homelessness Network), Paulette Halupa (National Anti Poverty
Organization), Maylanne Maybee (The Anglican Church of Canada), Jim Marshall
(The United Church of Canada), and Laurel Rothman (Campaign 2000) and Fransois
Saillant (FRAPRU).

 Community Spotlight:

 Celebrating Outstanding Work with Homeless Youth

 In last month’s issue of Housing Again, it was announced that HA, in partnership with Raising the Roof, w
 agencies as a part of the Youthworks initiative. The profile that follows is the second in a series of articles t
 homeless and at-risk youth.

 As part of its National Initiative Program, Eva’s Initiatives launched its first Innovation Awards with the g
 being done by organizations across Canada in assisting homeless youth. These awards are being granted to
 services to homeless youth; successfully use partnerships to develop, implement or operate services; deliver
 becoming homeless to achieve greater self sufficiency and reduce their chances of experiencing homelessne
 the following: housing, education, vocational training, employment, health and addictions supports, life ski
 risk youth become self-sufficient.

 Each winning organization receives a prize of $3,000, presented at an awards ceremony in their community

 One of this year’s winners is Mères et Monde in Québec City. Mères et Monde is a residential and comm
 mothers and their infants, develop their ability to be independent, break the social isolation experienced by
 integration. The centre brings together 23 units of social housing, community services and training, and an
 opportunities for respite care, and care for children while the mothers are tending to family responsibilities

 Participation in the training programs or use of the centre is not limited to women who live in the social hou
 participants to develop a life plan aimed at overcoming social exclusion and poverty, and facilitating their e
 obtain school credits. Once enrolled in the training, participants receive a monthly allowance for the duratio
 travel costs as needed.

 Mères et Monde operates from the principles of empowerment and partnerships, with programs and opportu
 attending the centre. The centre is run from a model of participatory management, with the young mothers s
 staff hiring and evaluation committees), in addition to forming the majority on the board of directors.


Ontario Budget 2006
The Ontario Budget 2006 is “long on rhetoric and short on concrete promises to help the
poor” says the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee. Although the budget contained no
new funding for social housing, there was a provision to create the Ontario Mortgage
and Housing Initiative to assist developers of affordable housing with low-cost, long-
term financing for new rental and supportive housing units.
Study Finds BC’s Welfare Rules Contributing to Homelessness

A major study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) finds
that BC’s welfare system is systematically discouraging, delaying and denying assistance
to many of the people most in need of help, with harmful consequences for some of the
province’s most vulnerable residents, including homelessness.

“Denied Assistance: Closing the Front Door on Welfare in BC” examines why the
number of people receiving welfare has plummeted in the wake of changes to eligibility
rules and the application system, and looks at what is happening to people who seek and
are denied welfare. It is the first in-depth assessment of the new application system,
drawing on data obtained through Freedom of Information requests and extensive
interviews with people who have applied for welfare, front-line community advocates
and ministry workers.

Bruce Wallace, researcher with the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research
Group, which undertook the study with CCPA, said the research found that many people
are being diverted to homelessness, and other forms of hardship.


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