Peel Region has Longest Housing Wait List According to ONPHA 2008 Survey
BRAMPTON, ON. (July 25, 2008) – A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), 2008 Report on Waiting List Statistics for Ontario, shows that the Region of Peel has the longest wait list for affordable housing among the 47 Municipal Service Manager areas in Ontario.
The 21-year wait list for Peel is the largest in Ontario. Second to this is Toronto’s wait list of four to six years for singles and families. The difference between Peel and other municipalities is due to a number of factors. Peel is one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario. As well, Peel is maturing. Seniors are making up an increasingly higher proportion of the population.
“Peel’s high rate of growth sets it apart from most other municipalities, creating a disproportionately higher need for affordable housing,” said Regional Chairman Emil Kolb. “Peel has been growing at a rate of more than 34,000 new residents each year. Most of that growth is from immigration and growing numbers of new immigrants are increasingly vulnerable to low income and in need of social housing. We need stronger government support for settlement funding and foreign credentials recognition so these new residents can maintain a decent standard of living in Peel.”
The ONPHA survey records households who are active on the waiting lists for assisted housing for 2008. Peel Region reported 13,564 households on the wait list in 2007, comprised of 2,286 seniors, 3,596 singles and 7,682 families. As supply of affordable housing units has not kept pace with demand in Peel, seniors can expect to wait three to seven years for a unit, while singles and families endure a wait time of up to 21 years.
Another factor in Peel’s wait list is due to legislative requirements for priority for Victims of Family Violence (VOFV). Approved VOFV are placed at the top of the wait list and offered housing first. Of the 872 households housed in Peel in 2007, 59 per cent were VOFV; however, even VOFV clients can face wait times of one year or more, with non-priority applicants being forced to wait much longer.
“Peel’s long wait times are considered to be a much stronger indication of the need for affordable housing and social supports than the actual number of people on the list,” said Keith Ward, Commissioner of Human Services and General Manager of Peel Living. “Long wait times discourage households in need of subsidized housing from applying, making it challenging for Peel to document the magnitude of need in the community.”
The ONPHA report states that “While the need is great, there is very little housing that is affordable to households on the waiting lists being produced by recent government funded programs…demand is sufficiently strong that as soon as the wait times shrink due to people being housed, others sign up and take their place.”
ONPHA is an association of non-profit housing organizations which provide high quality affordable housing for low and moderate income people in communities across Ontario. View the ONPHA Report on Waiting List Statistics for Ontario.
The Human Services department, established in June 2007, provides services that support full participation by all residents in the economic, social and cultural life of the Region, in particular by providing a continuum of supports for vulnerable or at-risk members of the community. The department’s divisions include Ontario Works, Children’s Services, Early Years Integration, Social Housing (Peel Living), and Social Housing Policy and Programs.