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The Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario Program

The Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario Program is a government funded initiative that will provide over $800 Million (federal and provincial funds) in an effort to improve access to affordable housing. The program will extend for some 6 years, and will end March 31, 2020. Prospective applicants will be required to contact their local Municipal Housing Department in order to determine their eligibility for the funding, and the geographic area of funding coverage.

The IAH Program is built on the successes of previous housing programs that delivered results. The program is designed to provide continued support, and with similar objectives. There are a number of initiatives that are being encouraged through the program:

  • improving access to safe and sustainable affordable housing throughout Ontario.
  • providing implementation to meet regional needs with respect to “Housing Plans”.
  • addressing affordable housing needs of defined groups throughout the province.
  • contributing to Ontario’s future housing plans for senior citizens and the disabled.
  • offering funding for those housing options that address affordable housing needs.
  • incorporating energy efficiencies and accessibility features into affordable housing.
  • promoting and supporting apprentice labor, as well as training skilled laborers.

The IAH Program offers a number of different components, each one designed to fulfill a specific need in the market. Details can be obtained from the local Municipal Housing Department, with notable mention to:

  • the Rental Housing Component;
  • the Home Ownership Component;
  • the Ontario Renovates Component.

Additionally, there is a special “Off-Reserve” Aboriginal Housing Component” which will be implemented with Aboriginal Program Administrators.

In particular, the Ontario Renovates component offers significant rebates that can be applied to projects that involve insulation upgrades. With an emphasis on promoting energy efficiency, the IAH Program strongly encourages the installation of energy-saving products when repairs or renovations are implemented. One of the highlighted funding options includes the installation of attic insulation that ensures a minimum R-Value of R40.

Funding wise, the province-wide aim is to create and repair about 11,000 housing units. Of this, some 1,650 housing units (15%) will be earmarked for senior citizens, and approximately 1,100 units (10%) for people with disabilities. In principle, the objective is to meet these targets over the life of the program. And in terms of dollar allocation, the funding is provided on a so-called “use it - lose it” basis. Again, specifics are obtainable from each Municipal Housing Department.

The IAH Program has its focus on affordable housing, and along with suitable support services, the long-term objective is to significantly improve health outcomes for seniors and those with disabilities. Those living with mental health problems, addiction/dependence issues, or at risk of homelessness, are the ones who are targeted to benefit. As such, working with local health networks, community-care centers and support services agencies is highly recommended.

The Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario Program is government driven, and therefore comprises specific protocols and procedures. Program particulars and clarifications are best addressed in collaboration with each local Municipal Housing Department. This might include information about important dates and deadlines; edibility criteria; submission processes; project approval and funding; and any other additional rules and regulations that may apply.  

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