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Queen's Park on board

Toronto Sun - April 30, 2005
by Alan Findlay

The Ontario government has signed on with the federal government to spend a total of $602 million on affordable housing projects, of which an estimated $240 million will help pay rents and build homes in Toronto.

Ministers from both levels of government announced the 50-50 funding deal in Toronto -- the first time in a decade Ontario has kicked in money for affordable housing.

Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen said the most immediate impact will be rent supplements aimed at getting 5,000 more families and individuals into affordable units as soon as this summer.

The bulk of the cash, spread over four years, will go into longer-term programs aimed at getting more than 15,000 affordable units built.

Mayor David Miller applauded the announcement as did affordable housing advocates and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Pre-election cash was also flying in Etobicoke where Liberal MP Roy Cullen presented a cheque for over $250,000 to the North Etobicoke Revitalization Project to boost employment in the area.

And Tony Ianno, minister of state for families and caregivers, announced Ottawa's $1.7-million pledge to fund senior citizens programs across Ontario. Eighty-three programs across Ontario will receive the funding, Ianno said in Toronto.

With files from Jack Boland and Brett Clarkson

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