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AMO Policy - Housing and Homelessness Update


The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) sends a letter to Premier Ford calling on the provincial government to end homelessness

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AMO and Partners Publish Open Letter to Premier Ford

AMO and 25 partner organizations published an open letter to Premier Ford in the print edition of the Globe and Mail on Saturday, March 18th. This letter urged the Premier to work with municipal, community, health, Indigenous, and economic partners to end homelessness in Ontario. Local organizations including Downtown Kingston BIA are participating in the open letter campaign by sending a letter to Premier Ford, copying AMO.

This open letter is part of an ongoing call to action, which has already resulted in 30 resolutions sent to the Premier by municipalities, DSSABs, and municipal organizations, all urging him to end homelessness. Business and property owners are encouraged to write and send letters to the local MPPs and Premier Doug Ford using AMO's key messages.

On May 3 and 4, AMO will hold its Ending Homelessness Symposium. This one-and-a-half-day event is open to elected officials, municipal staff, social, health, economic, and Indigenous partners, as well as all sector associations interested in participating. For more information and to register, please visit their website.

AMO's Key Messages on Housing and Homelessness for Discussion with Provincial Legislators (MPP)


  • Housing supply is a top priority for municipalities across the province. We are all acutely aware of the urgent need for additional housing.
  • Municipalities want to collaborate with all levels of government and industry to find ways to build more homes as soon as possible.
  • The province will need to work together to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. We require solutions for the entire housing continuum, including those in greatest need. The pace and scale of changes to provincial planning legislation have been difficult to manage thus far. In many cases, these modifications will have serious unintended consequences.
  • Municipalities require clarification on the new rules, as well as a renewed emphasis on improving the overall system. We also need more information on the province's plan to fully offset financial losses associated with Bill 23, which the Minister committed to on November 30.
  • To build safe, vibrant, sustainable, and affordable communities, we need sound planning that includes infrastructure and adequate infrastructure financing. Otherwise, the supply of housing will not grow.
  • Municipalities are taking steps to improve the system and recognize that we are an important player in the housing construction process. However, we are only one piece of the puzzle which is housing. We can work together to create a prosperous Ontario that attracts businesses and provides a place for residents to live and work.


  • We cannot discuss housing without addressing the growing visibility and complexity of homelessness in our province.
  • The homelessness crisis is a systemic, made-in-Ontario crisis caused by successive provincial governments' policy decisions and choices over the last three decades. The pandemic exacerbated the crisis, and local governments were severely impacted.
  • The decentralization of social housing and homelessness in the 1990s obscures the fact that our homelessness crisis is the result of provincial decisions and policy levers entirely within the province's sphere of authority, financial responsibility, and accountability.
  • Changing planning laws will not put an end to homelessness. It calls for economic, social, and health policy responses. While municipalities and District Social Service Administration Boards are contributing and doing their part, this problem is clearly beyond the scope of municipalities to solve on their own.
  • The Ontario government has the tools and resources to end the homelessness crisis it has created over the years. It must have the necessary leadership, capability, and political will to complete the task at hand. AMO and partners across Ontario are ready and willing to collaborate with the Government of Ontario to take integrated and collaborative action to end homelessness in Ontario. We must act immediately to assist our most vulnerable citizens.

Federal Housing Accelerator Fund Launched

The federal Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) was established on March 17. This $4 billion initiative provides municipal governments with incentive funding to expedite the construction of 100,000 new homes across Canada. The programme will be in effect until 2026-27.

The HAF application portal will open in June. Municipal governments are encouraged to think big and be innovative in their approaches by submitting an application through one of the fund's two streams. All applications must include an action plan that includes supply growth targets as well as initiatives to increase housing supply and expedite housing approvals.

In May 2022, AMO presented the H AF design to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills, Social Development, and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. We are pleased to see it launched, and we encourage municipal governments to develop HAF applications to support housing affordability in their communities.

Recognizing that application-based funding is insufficient to address the issue, AMO will continue to advocate for additional housing and homelessness funding in the upcoming provincial and federal budgets.

Province Building Ontario by Doubling Economic Immigration

To help solve the province's critical labour shortage, the Ontario government is doubling the number of economic immigrants it selects in 2025 to over 18,000 people. With nearly 300,000 job openings every day, Ontario will be able to hire more workers to fill gaps in critical industries such as skilled trades, technology, and health care. The province announced over the weekend that it will double the number of economic immigrants it selects in 2025 to over 18,000 to help solve the province's critical labour shortage in critical industries such as skilled trades, technology, and health care.

AMO applauds this announcement and applauds the government's efforts to address skilled labour shortages, particularly in the construction trades.