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News Release

Durham Regional Council endorses Affordable and Seniors' Housing Task Force report

WHITBY, ON November 08, 2017

Today, Durham Regional Council endorsed the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force report—Championing Affordable Rental and Seniors’ Housing Across Durham Region. The report contains recommendations and strategies that support the creation and maintenance of affordable rental and seniors’ housing. In making its recommendations, the Task Force followed a process that has promoted education, information sharing and collaboration.

“Nobody should go to sleep at night in Durham Region without a roof over their head,” said Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “This report represents another step forward, further demonstrating the vital role that affordable and suitable housing plays in building inclusive, healthy and complete communities. The Region has an important responsibility as a leader and innovator, but we can’t do it alone. In order to achieve these recommendations, all levels of government and the local community must work together.”

The Championing Affordable Rental and Seniors’ Housing Across Durham Region report provides a six-point plan of action:

  • Lead by example by ensuring that the Region is strategic, proactive and anticipatory, and is ready to champion affordable rental and seniors’ housing.
  • Overcome the barriers that are preventing affordable rental and seniors’ housing by reducing risks, increasing certainty and offsetting costs.
  • Partner and build support for affordable housing through improved education, communication, outreach and awareness, and by supporting partners who are in the business of creating and maintaining affordable rental and/or seniors’ housing in Durham Region.
  • Showcase best practices and share information to build Durham Region’s reputation as an affordable housing and seniors’ housing exemplar, fit for imitation by others.
  • Advocate responsibly to senior levels of government for affordable and suitable housing that meets the needs of all.
  • Monitor progress and report on results to ensure that objectives are being met and that success is being realized through on-the-ground action.

The six-point plan of action sets the stage for 34 recommendations that focus on a full spectrum of solutions, including policy, regulatory, educational, communications, outreach, partnership development, advocacy and reporting efforts.

“This report would not have been possible without the input provided by members of the public, housing community and staff throughout the process—it is the result of a collective effort by many,” said Regional Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force, and Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee. “Building on existing plans, such as At Home in Durham, the Durham Housing Plan 2014-2024, this report outlines clear priorities to help address housing issues in our region.”

Information used in the development of the report included: delegations from members of the community; a public online survey; a detailed web-based analysis to highlight good municipal practices; and a Thought Leaders and Partners Roundtable to bring industry leaders and innovators together to share exemplary practices and leading-edge innovations, and to identify opportunities for Durham Region.

The Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force met monthly from December 2016 to June 2017. The members of the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force are: Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer; Regional Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force, and Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee; Regional Councillor David Pickles, Vice-Chair of the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force, and Chair of Health & Social Services Committee; Town of Ajax Regional Councillor Colleen Jordan; Township of Brock Mayor John Grant; Municipality of Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster; City of Oshawa Regional Councillor Dan Carter; City of Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan; Township of Scugog Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew; Township of Uxbridge Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger; and Town of Whitby Regional Councillor Elizabeth Roy.

An inter-departmental staff group led by the Region’s Social Services Department supported the work of the Task Force. 

The next step includes the development of a work plan and related implementation plan, to outline key actions, measurements and anticipated timelines.

For more information on the Affordable and Seniors’ Housing Task Force, or to access a copy of the report, please visit durham.ca/HousingTaskForce. To access At Home in Durham, the Durham Housing Plan 2014-2024, please visit durham.ca/housingreview.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.