Community Living Toronto Supports Renewed Commitment to Supports and Housing for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Good Signals for Future Sector Reform
March 25, 2021
Community Living Toronto (CLTO) is pleased to see a renewed commitment from Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, and Minister Todd Smith in the 2021 provincial Budget to supporting people with an intellectual disability to access community-based housing and support services. This commitment is essential to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, stabilizing the sector, and meaningful long-term developmental services reform that helps people with an intellectual disability live independently and inclusively in our communities.
The Budget includes a $13 million commitment over three years to assist more people with intellectual disabilities to access community housing and an expansion to the Adult Protective Services Worker program. This investment is meant to improve access to safe and affordable housing and address the growing homelessness crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past year, CLTO and the developmental services sector have enjoyed unprecedented support from the provincial government. This has translated into lives and livelihoods saved in every community across the province,” said Brad Saunders, Chief Executive Officer of Community Living Toronto. “This budget recognizes that community-based services and housing need to go hand-in-hand to properly support the rights and choices of people with intellectual disabilities. It will set the stage for a reformed system that helps people with disabilities live in the community with the supports they need.”
This investment builds on the recent commitment to extend frontline developmental services compensation investments to the summer. For much of the past year, frontline workers supporting children and adults with intellectual disabilities have been receiving additional hourly compensation in recognition of their commitment to supporting vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintaining this investment is critical to our ability to manage during the pandemic. While not included in this budget, we will continue to advocate that these enhancements be made permanent for essential frontline workers in the developmental services sector.
Early supports for children with disabilities make a significant impact on their long-term trajectory and future integration in the community. The provincial government has recognized this through a much-needed investment in two new Children’s Treatment Centres in Ottawa and Chatham and a significant new investment to support increased capacity for rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs.
“Taken together, proper compensation for our essential frontline workers and this commitment to supporting both housing and services signal a brighter future for people with disabilities and the developmental services sector,” said Brad Saunders. “We look forward to working with Premier Ford, Minister Bethlenfalvy, Minister Smith, and their teams to build that future together.”
Director, Community Engagement and Policy Community Living Toronto firstname.lastname@example.org