There is an affordable housing crisis in Simcoe County. The recently completed “Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy” calls for 4,576 affordable dwellings to be created within the County (including Barrie and Orillia) over the next 10 years. Indicators suggest that although new rental properties have been developed throughout the County there has been a net loss of rental stock over the past 15 years. Rental rates are outpacing inflation, even in communities where the vacancy rate would suggest a “renter’s market”. A single individual on Ontario Works would need to spend 108% of their monthly income to afford to live in the County. Demands for social housing have been increasing, especially for one-bedroom units. Operating agreements for some social housing buildings have an expiration date just around the corner. The rate of low-income households with children under 6 years of age is well above the provincial average. The demands for homeless services and housing assistance services are at a rate never previously seen. There is a crisis. The time for action has come.

The issue is too complex for any one of us to solve alone. Housing in Simcoe County is an issue that transcends municipal boundaries. All partners including local municipalities, other levels of government, community based non-profit and private sectors have important roles to play to ensuring the development of affordable housing for all residents.  As a Simcoe County-wide non-profit coalition of over 70 individuals and organizations, we are the experts and we are uniquely positioned to lead collective impact. We want to sit at the table, and work together to find solutions.

We believe together, we can find solutions. Housing is the solution to homelessness. Apart from the obvious social benefits, there are financial benefits to developing a range of affordable housing options.  New research suggests that homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion per year.  Building affordable housing makes good business sense. We have a variety of tools and resources to assist with the development of affordable housing. We believe that homelessness is not a given and that not just reducing, but ending, the crisis is achievable. We want to work with you – Community Stakeholders, Developers, and Elected Officials towards ending homelessness.  This can be a reality. SCATEH is committed to working together to end homelessness.

2 Comments

    • Betty

      Would like info. I’m just a concerned citizen.

      • Carla

        Thanks Betty!
        Feel free to check back on the website for more great information. Also if you are on Twitter or Facebook you can check us out there!

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