Homelessness and Affordable Housing

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.

Homelessness Sunday
April 22, 2018

The Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario has prepared resources for clergy and parishes to use on April 22, 2018 – Good Shepherd Sunday. This Sunday is identified as Homelessness Sunday and we hope to give all Anglicans an opportunity to pray, learn, and act as they engage in a variety of resources provided for this day.

Diocesan Goals

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.
Trillium Grant

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.

Policy Paper

A policy paper, entitled “Recommendations for Proceeds of Surplus Property Sales” recommends that affordable housing be considered when it comes to surplus property, and that 10% of the revenue made from selling surplus property go to affordable housing endeavours.