Ontario is investing $10 million in new year-to-year funding for Indigenous-led long-term housing solutions and support services for Indigenous people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The new funding, administered through a partnership between Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) and Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, is earmarked for culturally-appropriate housing solutions such as supportive housing, transitional housing, rent supplements and housing allowances, according to a news release issued by the Ontario government late last week.
“Since day one, our government has worked closely with Indigenous program partners to understand their unique housing needs because we know that ensuring access to safe, stable housing is foundational to positive health, education, and employment outcomes,” said Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark in the release. “With this new funding, we will continue to work with all our partners to help build long-term housing solutions that provide culturally appropriate services by and for Indigenous people, and support thriving, prosperous communities across Ontario.”
"We are thankful for our positive and constructive relationship with Minister Clark, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Government of Ontario,” said OAHS chair Coralee McGuire-Cyrette in the news release. “This funding that centers on supports for mental health and addictions is vital for supporting the people we serve in urban, rural, and northern areas across Ontario. It’s notable that the support for our communities continues after housing development, and this funding ensures that supports and needs are fulfilled."
Ontario says the annual funding will enable Indigenous housing providers in the province to deliver culturally-appropriate, supportive housing services to “support the health and well-being of Indigenous people in their communities.”