At the 108th Annual Conference in Ottawa, AMO continued to advocate for a housing system that works for all through the release of Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Important Considerations in the Future of Social Housing in Ontario.

In March 2007, the AMO Board of Directors advocated for a new framework for housing policy and program development in Ontario with the release of AMO’s Principles and Strategic Considerations for Social Housing in Ontario which emphasized the need for commitment from all orders of Government to develop a system that supports locally driven solutions and a fiscal and regulatory framework that allows municipalities to act innovatively in responding to local issues.

Beyond Bricks and Mortar builds on the previous paper and emphasizes the importance of intergovernmental and stakeholder cooperation and the need for sustained funding in resolving Ontario’s social housing crisis. This paper studies the steps that need to be taken in order to create a social housing system that works for all Ontarians. Policy directions and outcomes of national, state, and local governments in six jurisdictions were reviewed. By learning from the international experience, Ontario can determine whether the successful social housing policies implemented elsewhere might also succeed in Ontario. 

AMO’s motivation in advocating for a sustainable social housing system is simple; this important community service is under stress and facing significant challenges that must be addressed. Beyond Bricks and Mortar raises important considerations including whether it is more important to become better managers of social housing, or whether it is essential to give municipalities the tools to better develop and manage community renewal, poverty reduction and economic progress.