04/02/2007

The AMO Board of Directors advocated for a new framework for housing policy and program development in Ontario.
Background: 

At the March 30, 2007 AMO Board of Directors’ meeting a set of principles and strategic considerations on decisions regarding the direction and impact of social housing in Ontario were endorsed. The proposed AMO Principles for Housing are intended to better reflect the municipal voice and municipal priorities on issues regarding the funding, accountability and many issues related to social housing in Ontario.

Municipal governments want to ensure that social housing services are meeting the needs of people in their communities and that services are delivered and funded in a way that is accountable and effective. Currently, municipalities alone are responsible and accountable for the funding and delivery of this program – part of approximately $1 billion in municipal expenditures for housing services in Ontario. Municipalities must, therefore, have a greater role in the decisions regarding the direction and impact of social housing in Ontario. 

The proposed AMO principles and strategic considerations outline a vision of social housing that moves away from being mired in operational details and the interests of other parties, towards an effective, efficient, coordinated, integrated and accountable system of social housing.

Below are the AMO Principles.

Housing in Ontario must be based on the following principles

1. Funding an income redistribution program like housing through property tax is unsustainable and at odds with basic principles of good public policy and good fiscal policy.

2. So long as municipalities are the principle funders of housing services in Ontario, they should be the principle policy makers.

3. Focused on long-term, sustainable solutions that provide the most cost-effective solutions to problems across the full spectrum of housing and social policy, not just specific programs.

4. That the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments in Ontario must have a clear plan for collaboration and action on housing issues under a comprehensive National Housing Strategy.

5. Active participation of all orders of government, focused on the quality of life that housing needs to provide, and that active participation is based on defined roles, responsibilities and accountability, and a sustainable funding framework which does not include the property tax base.

6. Comprehensive and coordinated policies and programs that include improved income supports, improved housing choice and improved access to social and health services to enable people to live independently in their communities.

Action: 

The AMO Principles for Housing in Ontario will be communicated to both the provincial and federal governments and will be used as a framework for future housing discussions.