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BEHIND THE SCENES: Growing Call for Rent Assistance as Homelessness Rates Rise Due to Financial Struggles

NewmarketToday reporter Joseph Quigley takes us behind the scenes

Ian McCain became homeless as he couldn't afford his rent due to being on disability and not being able to find work in Stouffville. He decided to move, but he was unable to find a place he could afford on the payments he gets from the Ontario Disability Support Program. He now lives in Passage House, a transitional housing facility run by Blue Door.

Passage House has done well since it opened last fall and has provided homeless people with hope. The province recently increased the maximum amount of wages that can be earned while still receiving disability funding from $200 to $1,000. Braithwaite, the CEO of Blue Door, said that while efforts are being made to build more affordable homes, it is not enough to meet the demand.

Municipal leaders and advocacy organizations are pushing for more action on homelessness from the upper levels of government. The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is pushing for a new program for a Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit to provide rental relief to low-income households.  

Video Summary:

NewmarketToday reporter Joseph Quigley recently covered the story of Ian McCain, a resident who became homeless due to the high cost of rent. McCain's situation is not unique, as the pandemic has exacerbated the homelessness situation in the region. Although there was a lot of support available during the pandemic, many resources have since evaporated, leaving people struggling with rising rental prices and unaffordability. As a result, there has been a huge rise in homelessness in Newmarket and beyond.

The lack of affordable housing in the region is a complex issue. Housing prices continue to rise due to demand, and there hasn't been enough development to keep up with the growing need. As a result, there is way more demand than supply, affecting both rentals and housing. There needs to be more development and investment to address the issue of affordable housing in the region.

In Newmarket, community organizations and municipalities are working to address the issue of homelessness, but it's a struggle for all municipalities. Homeless organizations are calling for rental support and funding to help lift people like McCain out of homelessness. The federal government also needs to take action and provide support to those affected by the crisis. There is a need for serious intervention and investment to address the issue of homelessness in the region.