Housing — the biggest issue


Movement mobilization

The cover of United Way's Bring Affordable Housing Home report

One of our latest reports, Bringing Affordable Housing Home: An action plan for housing stability in Ontario brings a new force to the fight for deeply affordable housing: the non-profit sector. United Way Greater Toronto worked with Ontario for All, Ontario Nonprofit Network, the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights and the Ontario Alliance to End Homelessness to develop this action plan that draws on the expertise of 400 non-profit housing leaders, shared through 20 local consultations led by United Ways across Ontario. Aimed at all three levels of government, the report outlines seven solutions-focused policy recommendations and the practical steps that can fully enable the sector to partner with government and business in growing housing stability in the province.

Other efforts to move the needle and house Ontarians:

Many people sitting around tables at Parkdale Community Centre

  • We are throwing our weight — and funding — behind local land trusts, from Parkdale to Newmarket, supporting agencies like the Parkdale Activity — Recreation Centre (PARC) and Blue Door in leveraging donated land and properties to protect and grow deeply affordable, supportive housing, in perpetuity. A Partnership and Systems grant to Blue Door goes towards developing the foundational elements this innovative approach needs to become a sustainable model: by-laws, a decision-making matrix and an operating governance structure. And by demonstrating our confidence first, we’re helping to bring other funders aboard.
  • In York Region, United Way continues to administer and implement Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, recently through capital investment in 50+ transitional and permanent supportive housing units and pursuing a Coordinated Access System and the creation of an Indigenous Homelessness Framework.
  • We are walking side by side with local government. That’s the commitment we made in a March deputation to the Town of Georgina council, calling for action and partnership to advance and expedite housing solutions. And that’s what we’re doing now, in consultations with them and other partners, including developer Treasure Hill, all focused on bringing much needed affordable housing to the region.

And we are engaged in the long-term essential groundwork that gets us all closer to our shared goal of thriving communities:

  • Together with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada we are updating the Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario, which will provide the clear targets needed to close the supply gap.
  • Working with the City of Toronto, United Way is developing the Toronto Neighbourhoods’ Assessment Framework, a data- and evidence-driven, yet holistic and strengths-based tool that generates understanding of opportunities, assets and needs in Toronto neighbourhoods and communities. Once completed, it will support decision making and strategy development, both for government and civic partners as well as agencies and grassroots organizations.