HAMILTON — The Ontario government is investing an additional $13 million over three years to help connect people with developmental disabilities with accessible and affordable housing in their own community. This funding will also expand programs to support more independent living which is at the centre of the province’s long-term plan to better serve people who depend on developmental services.
“Truly reforming developmental services means ensuring individuals have the opportunity to live their best lives, including finding long-term, accessible, and affordable housing,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “When people with developmental disabilities are supported to find suitable housing they are better able to live independently and participate in their communities.”
The investment will increase funding for Housing Coordinators who work at each of the nine Developmental Services Ontario offices across the province to help people with a developmental disability and their families or caregivers navigate housing options in the community.
In addition, funding for the Adult Protective Service Workers (APSW) program will help people with varying abilities in their homes. The program is targeted to serve the following groups:
- Individuals transitioning from childhood support services into adult developmental services when they turn 18.
- Individuals with a developmental disability who are currently living in group home settings and who wish to live more independently in a non-congregate setting, and,
- Individuals who would like to live more independently in the community (for example, with APSW-like support). This will include individuals currently residing with aging caregivers and who have low support needs, helping relieve future pressures on the system.
When fully implemented, this investment will see more than 1,200 people with developmental disabilities receiving the help they need to find accessible and affordable housing.
“Today’s announcement moves forward the ministry’s developmental services transformation plan, Journey to Belonging,” said Lea Pollard, executive Director of Contact Hamilton for Children’s and Developmental Services. “Housing is a fundamental human need, and maximizing choices through information provision is a key enabler to addressing a person’s housing needs. Today’s announcement invests in resources that will assist people with accessing information about available housing options in their community, and planning tools to assist people in developing their own personalized housing plan.”
Connecting individuals with the appropriate housing aligns with Ontario’s Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion. The plan lays out the government’s long-term vision for a developmental services system in Ontario that is more responsive to individual needs and supports greater choice and flexibility so people with developmental disabilities are supported to fully participate in their communities and live fulfilling lives.