Michelle Bilek—Co-Chair, Peel Alliance to End Homelessness—discusses how United Way and partners have pushed to shape public policy around housing.

National Housing Strategy

Across Peel, Toronto and York Region, almost half of all renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. A combination of high housing prices, surging rental costs and record-low vacancies has created a crisis for those who are looking for housing.

The numbers tell the story: rent supplements are essential in the fight against homelessness.

That’s why United Way, with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, have led the way in assembling partners across all sectors and consulting groups across the country to create the National Housing Collaborative.

By looking to people with lived experience to help shape public policy, we were able to effectively drive the federal government towards its first-ever National Housing Strategy.

The government is now delivering a comprehensive, multi-year National Housing Strategy. It will improve affordable housing, expand stock and introduce a new housing benefit.

The strategy responds to the Collaborative’s recommendations, including a National Housing Benefit. A Portable Housing Benefit will provide immediate and direct support to residents for their housing costs.

It’s a wonderful example of how local solutions can gain national momentum.

was pledged by the Federal Government over 11 years to deliver on affordable housing—thanks, in part, to United Way efforts and your ongoing support.

individuals in York Region who are experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness have been helped by Housing to Heath (an initiative supported by United Way agencies and partners) since October 2016. Of the 34, 4 individuals have successfully exited the program. Learn more.

Hosting a GenNext fundraising event that featured a panel discussion on the “Importance of Philanthropy.” Sponsoring a Leadership donor–appreciation event on behalf of United Way. And supporting their own President & CEO, Dean Connor, in taking on the role of 2017 United Way Campaign Chair. Last year, Sun Life Financial was a shining example of extraordinary WORKPLACE PARTNERSHIP with United Way. For more examples, see our 2017 Spirit Award nominees and winners.

Inspired by our PEPSO research (which you made possible), BILL 148 modernized Ontario work standards, helping to protect workers who are vulnerable and employers who are looking to maintain workforce security.

Through the SOCIAL PURCHASING PROJECT, an initiative driven by United Way and government, you’re helping to promote buying from employment social enterprises—protecting the jobs of those who make and deliver them. Read this article on the community-building power of social enterprise.