January 12, 2022
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building - Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
I am writing to you to urgently address the lack of funding for housing in the province of Ontario. As you are aware several housing programs are set to expire with no funding renewal announcement in sight. Funding for six programs is set to expire in the next several years. Both the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) and the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OHI-HA) will expire on March 31, 2022. 88 households in Windsor alone will lose funding at the end of March 2022 if you do not take action immediately.
Hundreds of families are at risk of homelessness, many of which are people in crisis, persons with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, seniors and those that are identified as working poor. Some currently reside in supportive housing. A total loss of $3,355,000 is estimated for Windsor Essex by 2024. These figures do not include the 5,000 people on the affordable housing waitlist or the almost 500 households experiencing homelessness in Windsor Essex.
The City of Windsor has identified that they will be forced to use previously allocated funding that would otherwise fund initiatives for other homeless and housing subsidies if these provincial programs are not renewed. They cannot afford to subsidize the loss of all six programs, leading to evictions and further strains on our shelters.
Windsor, much like many cities in Ontario, is experiencing a housing crisis. The cost of living is increasing at a rapid rate. Municipalities are in dire need of provincial support to address ongoing affordable housing constraints. Housing is a human right. No one should have to experience life without a place to call home.
I implore you to act immediately and not only renew the funding for these expiring programs but provide additional funding to address the housing crisis and homelessness in Ontario.
Lisa Gretzky MPP
CC: Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor
Fred Francis, City Councillor, Ward 1
Fabio Costante, City Councillor, Ward 2
Rino Bortolin, City Councillor, Ward 3
Chris Holt, City Councillor, Ward 4
Ed Sleiman, City Councillor, Ward 5
Jo-Anne Gignac, City Councillor, Ward 6
Jeewen Gill, City Councillor, Ward 7
Gary Kaschak, City Councillor, Ward 8
Kieran McKenzie, City Councillor, Ward 9
Jim Morrison, City Councillor, Ward 10