Ontario Releases 2021 Budget
Ontario released its 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy yesterday. The Budget sets out a total of $51 billion in spending in relation to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, $45 billion of which had been previously announced.
For details on our recommendations to the Province, see CHF Canada’s Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
The budget did not make any new commitments for housing specifically. However, as part of the COVID-19 response, the provincial and federal governments have earmarked an additional $255 million for municipalities through the Social Services Relief Fund.
The fund is intended to help municipal service managers and Indigenous housing partners protect homeless shelter staff and residents, expand rent support programming and create longer-term housing solutions.
CHF Canada’s Government Relations staff will be combing through the budget in further detail in the days to come, but a few additional highlights that may be of interest to co-ops and their members include:
- A previously announced investment of $18.5 million over three years for the Transitional Housing Support Program to support victims of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking to find affordable housing and help them transition to independence.
- $13 million over three years to assist more people with developmental disabilities access community housing and expanding the Adult Protective Service Worker program to support them to live independently.
- An additional $980 million for parents through payments of $400/child from age 0 to Grade 12 ($500 for those with special needs up to 21 years old) to assist with costs related to COVID-19, such as technology for online learning;
- An additional $4 million for First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations for contact tracing, self-isolation and resources to combat food insecurity and housing shortages.
In the Budget, the government announced that the property tax reassessment that was originally scheduled for 2020 has been postponed again.
The government also noted the Transit Oriented Communities program would create a mix of housing “including affordable housing” to increase transit ridership and support building more complete communities.