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National News

June 10, 2010 Annual housing report on state of affordable housing has been released

“Where’s Home,” an annual joint publication of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and the Cooperative Housing Federation of Ontario, is now available. The report examines affordable housing in 22 communities in Ontario. It provides information on vacancy rates over the past 10 years and provides statistics for rental housing availability, demand, and affordability. According to the report, 142,000 households are on waiting lists for affordable housing, 20 percent of Ontarians are spending more than half of their income on housing, and this figure goes up to 65 percent for food bank clients.

June 10, 2010 Mending Canada's frayed social safety net: The role of municipal governments

According to a report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, municipalities are shouldering the demands for social infrastructure (such as housing, emergency shelters, public transit, childcare, recreation and libraries) that supports quality of life, despite persistent poverty and income inequality. The report, titled “Mending Canada’s Frayed Social Safety Net: The Role of Municipal Governments,” outlines the importance of municipal services for quality of life within vulnerable populations, including those with limitations due to mental illness. These services are patches upon the frayed social safety net for vulnerable groups, particularly since federal and provincial governments have both retreated from traditional social infrastructure such as social housing and social assistance. Ontario is uploading funding responsibilities for social assistance; however, municipalities still struggle with funding an array of social services.

June 10, 2010 Canadian Best Practices Portal posts new resources on seniors and mental health

Seven best-practice interventions for older adults’ and seniors’ mental health were recently added to the Canadian Best Practices Portal (CBPP). The interventions are titled Healthy and Vital; Managing your Retirement Goals; Mental Fitness for Life; Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS); Seniors Active Living in Vulnerable Elders (ALIVE) Program; Senior Health and Physical Exercise (SHAPE) Project; and Vital Aging M (Vivir con vitalidad-M).