Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association provides education and resources to enhance affordable housing access

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), founded in 1988, works to raise awareness of the critical role that affordable rental housing plays in Ontario. Self-described as capacity builders, the association educates members and offers training and resources to develop skills and offer tenants high-quality homes.

Here is a look at just some of the initiatives creating affordable housing opportunities:

Atlohsa/ Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services Partnership, London

This London-based project grew from a response to violence against Indigenous women in the region into 17 affordable apartment units serving Aboriginal families and singles.

With the donation of a 16-unit heritage building, Atlohsa saw the potential: spacious, high-quality, family-sized apartments; affordable rents; proximity to downtown services, including its own offices; and a large commercial space that could be leased to generate revenues for Atlohsa’s programs.

Finlandia Village, Sudbury

A program in collaboration between Sudbury Finnish Rest Home Society and the Finlandia SISU Charitable Foundation, the project serves more than 400 seniors with a wide array of housing and care needs, with approximately 40 per cent being Finns.

The project consists of Finlandiakoti: a 90-unit apartment building funded through CMHC’s Sec. 95 program; Palvelukoti: 46 units of supportive housing, with LHIN-funded assisted living services; Lepokoti: 82 apartments with a 24/7 PSW on-site. Funded through the Investments in Affordable Housing Program; Hoivakoti: a 110-bed Long-Term Care Home with 24/7 nursing staff, funded by MOHLTC; Rivitalo: a 31-unit life-lease townhouse project; and Majatalo: shared transitional housing for four seniors.

The Oaks, Ottawa

Through collaboration between Shepherds of Good Hope; Ottawa Inner City Health; and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the program enables homeless alcoholics and people with serious physical and mental health challenges to stay housed and to rebuild their health and their lives.

The project includes a renovated hotel with 36 units plus offices, a dining area and lounge, a billiard room, TV room, laundry, garden, outdoor smoking area and wine-making room; a 19-unit building with self-contained bachelor apartments; and security features including a gated courtyard and cameras in both buildings.

Spruce Corners, Apsley

A collaboration between Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC) and the Canadian Red Cross, the project offers two-hour/day home care allocation combined to provide full-time services for eight people, filling the gap between independent living and long-term care for frail seniors.

ONPHA is home to more than 700 non-profit housing providers who house more than 400,000 people in 220 communities across the province. 

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