March 01, 2023

Statement on the City of Ottawa’s Confirmed 2023 Budget

OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa Mission, our city’s oldest and largest homeless shelter, thanks members of Ottawa City Council for increasing the allocation for affordable housing from $15 to $16.5 million in today’s confirmed 2023 budget through an additional $1.5 million from an increase to the Sale of Surplus Land Account.

Many organizations, including our shelter, asked for an increase because while we appreciate the support in the 2023 budget for housing, the original allocation of $15 million for new affordable housing was an amount that had not increased since it was introduced in the 2019 City of Ottawa budget. The allocation of an additional $1.5 million is a good start to addressing the overwhelming need for affordable housing in our community.

The Ottawa Mission had expressed concern because in Ottawa:

  • For every one unit of affordable rent built, seven are lost.
  • Average rents increased over 14% in 2022, with one-bedroom apartments now costing about $2,000, thereby forcing people to use food banks and meal programs such as ours to pay their rent.
  • 10% of those in emergency shelters are employed and cannot afford these staggering rents.
  • There are 12,000 individuals on Ottawa Community Housing’s waiting list, many of whom wait for years.
  • There are an estimated over 200 individuals sleeping outside, which is a public health emergency.

While the City of Ottawa needs provincial and federal government contributions for housing, the value of the $15 million for new affordable housing within the City’s 10-year housing plan has declined over time due to inflation and the increasing numbers of people needing services.

The Ottawa Mission expresses our sincere thanks to Council for this increase for new affordable housing. We look forward to continuing to work with all members of Council to ensure that housing and homelessness is a top priority over the life of this term of Council.

Learn more about our ‘Mission Possible’ Advocacy efforts:

About The Ottawa Mission
Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving those who are homeless, hungry and lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2021-2022, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 118 men every night and served an average of 2,570 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, primary care, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department.

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C: 613.712.3092