Communities across the province of Ontario are experiencing a significant crisis of homelessness and housing affordability that increases marginalization and social isolation for many of our most vulnerable citizens. This crisis affects communities large and small, urban, suburban, rural and Indigenous.
The Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Ottawa have officially declared homelessness and affordable housing to be a priority for the church. In particular, the Ottawa Diocese has set itself a goal to create 125 new units of affordable housing by 2021, its 125th anniversary.
The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa is working to achieve two main goals in the area of homelessness and affordable housing by 2012:
- Creation of 125 new units of affordable housing within the Diocese, and
- Have every parish engaged in efforts to pray, learn, advocate, and act to end homelessness through affordable housing.
A proposal for a SEED grant was submitted to the Ontario Trillium Foundation to enable the Diocese to articulate a number of models for use of church property in the provision of affordable housing. The Diocese was successful in attaining this grant, which enabled the Diocese to hire (a) program coordinator, and (b) to assist with feasibility studies on a few projects in the Diocese. Julian of Norwich and Trinity, Ottawa are both participating in feasibility studies for the full scale redevelopment of their program with an element of affordable housing. These studies funded by the Trillium Foundation and with the support of the Diocesan team will help generate conceptual models for use throughout the Diocese. Conversations have also begun with some rural parishes as well.
Provincial Elections 2018
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbours and to help those in need. Among those we are called to love and help are the vulnerable in our communities, many of whom are directly impacted by the homelessness and affordable housing crisis that is ongoing throughout our province.
What can you do?
- Discuss the issue of homelessness and affordable housing with your city counsellor, member of parliament, and candidates for Provincial Election
- Talk with your friends and neighbours
- Vote during the upcoming Provincial Election
- Letter from the Community Ministries of Ottawa’s Advocacy Working Group, regarding the issue of Homelessness and Affordable Housing in Ottawa
- Provincial Issues document, with questions for Provincial candidates
- PowerPoint presentation for parishes, that can be downloaded and adapted for your community.
- Homelessness and Affordable Housing article published in Crosstalk, the Diocesan Newspaper for Ottawa.
- Homelessness Sunday Resources; prepared by the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario
- Position Paper – Affordable Housing: Opportunities for Mission in the Diocese of Ottawa; prepared by the Homelessness and Affordable Housing Working Group
- Policy Paper – Recommendations for Proceeds of Surplus Property Sales (coming soon)