Dear Minister Phillips,
We are grateful to the Ontario government for the moratorium on evictions in Ontario during a critical time to protect families and households at the beginning of the crisis.
As the moratorium on evictions has been lifted however, we are seeing evictions starting up again.
We are hearing from partners and landlord associations that 6-20% of rentalhouseholds across the province are at risk of eviction due to rental non-payment. In hard numbers, with 1.5 million rental households in Ontario, this is between 90,000 and 300,000 households at risk of losing their homes due to eviction. Please let the urgency of those numbers sink in.
We have all been asked by our public health and government leaders to stay home to stop the spread of this virus. We know that in the face of this virus, home is the first defense.
Evictions are a public health challenge. If even a small number of those households and families were to hit the emergency shelter system where people stay in congregate settings, the chances of outbreaks across the province are high and could very easily overwhelm our healthcare system.
Housing however, can also be the cornerstone of recovery. We have two critical actions we encourage the Provincial government to take moving forward:
In the short term, we urge the Provincial government to reinstate the moratorium ban until the COVID pandemic is under control and invest in immediate financial support to repay rental arrears that families and households have accrued because of job loss beyond their control.
In the long term, we encourage significant investment in affordable housing coming out of this pandemic. In addition to housing development being an economic stimulus, people and communities thrive when they have the foundation of an affordable home. This is critical to building back our communities and local economies as we all work to recover from this pandemic.