MPP Vernile: Waterloo Region Receiving $148,549 to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

The Governments of Canada and Ontario are Investing more than $20 million

Published 09/13/2016 | By Office of Daiene Vernile MPP
Waterloo Region Receiving $148,549 to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence
Pilot Program Increases Affordable Housing Options for Survivors and Their Families
Waterloo Region is receiving $148,549 in new funding under the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot program. Ontario has selected Waterloo Region as one of 22 communities across the province to test the pilot.
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $20 million over two years to provide ongoing assistance to approximately 1,000 survivors of domestic violence per year under the new pilot program.
Currently, survivors of domestic violence are given priority access to rent-geared-to-income social housing. Survivors enrolled in the new pilot program will have the option to receive a portable housing benefit, so that they can immediately find housing in their community instead of waiting for a social housing unit to become available.
Based on the outcomes of the pilot, Ontario will consider ways to enhance the program and extend the portable housing benefit to other communities.
The new investment complements the commitments made through Ontario’s recent Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy update and It's Never Okay: Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. It also supports the province’s goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years and ending violence against women, while providing better supports for survivors.
“This pilot program is such an important step in helping to ensure that those fleeing domestic violence can quickly obtain affordable and adequate housing. Providing assistance to survivors is crucial in order to facilitate healing," said Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre.
“By investing in this important program, our government is supporting survivors of domestic violence in moving past these difficult times to quickly finding new housing options in our community," said Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge.
· A portable housing benefit is a subsidy provided to a low-income household to help with housing costs. The subsidy gives a household the freedom to choose where to live, since it is not tied to a specific unit like most rent-geared-to-income social housing.
· The 2016 Ontario Budget announced an investment of $178 million over three years to support the updated Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
· The additional funding for this pilot is part of a larger federal-provincial investment in social infrastructure spending that was announced in June.
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· Canadians are invited to help shape the National Housing Strategy by joining the conversation on Ideas will help shape the future of housing in Canada