QUEEN’S PARK — The Ontario NDP’s new housing and home care policies will combine in an unprecedented way to improve the lives of millions of Ontarians with disabilities and their loved ones.
Homes You Can Afford, a comprehensive plan from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP, includes a commitment to mandating universal design principles for building codes, ensuring that newly built homes are visitable and adaptable. Not only would this mean expanded options for people with disabilities looking to rent or buy, it means that more seniors can stay in their own homes for longer.
If implemented early in the design stage, costs associated with universal design are negligible. It will also make home retrofits cheaper for people wanting to age in place.
“Housing is a human right, but too many people with disabilities are struggling to find housing that meets their needs,” said Joel Harden, critic for Accessibility and People with Disabilities. “Our commitment to make universal design principles a building code requirement will dramatically improve the availability of accessible housing in Ontario.”
At the same time, the NDP’s proposals to overhaul home care would help thousands of people with disabilities who need health care and support services to live their fullest lives.
By investing up to $1 billion and taking profits out of the system, the Ontario NDP has committed to eliminating the wait list, boost wages for personal support workers and improve the quality of care.
“People with disabilities of all ages require home care, but the current patchwork system works a lot better for a few big companies than it does for those receiving care,” said Harden. “By making major new investments and phasing out for-profit provision, we can ensure that people with disabilities get the home care they need, when they need it.”
Thea Kurdi, Vice President, DesignAble Environments Inc.
“Anyone who is disabled now, or helped aging parents with housing or has kids with disabilities knows and lives with the consequences of building codes that exempt housing accessibility. We all want and deserve, and have protected by law, the right to choose housing in the best location we can find, with amenities to suit your lifestyle and budget.”
Kate Chung, Co-Chair of the Accessible Housing Network, and Chair of the Older Women's Network housing committee
“Accessible housing has many benefits: reduced costs for long-term care facilities. Many people will be able to remain in their accessible homes, freeing up spaces in nursing homes. Reduced need for in-home support help; Improved mental and physical health; Fewer falls; Fewer hospitalizations; Increased employment of people with disabilities.”
Michele Gardner, Co-Chair, CUPE Ontario Workers with Disabilities Committee
"As a person with a disability, receiving good quality homecare services means being able to live independently at home and in my community with dignity and respect. This new homecare plan means better quality of care, services for those who need them and better working conditions for home health care workers.”