Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley894 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5P8
Phone: 613-735-0659
Fax: 613-735-1373

2018 Ontario Budget Benefits For Community Living

2018 Ontario Budget Benefits For Community Living

On March 28, 2018, Ontario Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, announced important initiatives to further help people with intellectual disabilities as part of the 2018 Ontario budget. This was very welcomed after the developmental services sector had been without any funding increases for the past 10 years.

The Ontario budget addressed key initiatives that are in line with Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley's message of inclusion. Specifically, the agency was pleased to note the following:

  • Funding increases. After a 10-year freeze, more than $200 million is being provided over three years to over 350 community-based agencies to continue the delivery of high-quality services and enhance the capacity of service providers, ensuring long-term sustainability of the sector. Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley is one of those agencies. We look forward to being able to maintain the services that our local communities have come to expect.

  • Expanding direct funding to the Passport Program by at least $5,000 per year. The Passport Program provides funding for supports for people with intellectual disabilities. These supports allow people to obtain jobs, volunteer in the community, learn daily life skills and participate in education classes and recreation programs.

  • Resources to support the transition from youth to adulthood. Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley is the provider of adult supports in this sector. We know first-hand that there is a significant challenge for individuals and families who worry about their options following the completion of high school. Our staff work with young adults to support them in accessing relevant services as they transition to adulthood, including paths to post-secondary education, employment and financial resources.

  • Encouraging innovative housing solutions. This is something Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley (CLUOV) is very committed to achieving in the region - inclusive housing.  We have worked with local landlords and developers to increase the residential capacity for individuals with intellectual disabilities. As a result, the Upper Ottawa Valley is a sector leader in this inclusion initiative. This also furthers the ability to provide in-home supports that allows people to live at home longer, thereby relieving demand on long-term care facilities.

There were also additional supports that benefit the sector as a whole.

Chris Grayson, Executive Director of Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley met with Minister Sousa in February 2018 as part of 2018 pre-budget consultations. He was pleased to see the initiatives come forward in the 2018 Ontario budget

“$200 million over three years to ensure the capability of providing high-quality services and ensuring long-term sustainability of the sector is welcome news to agencies such as ours,” said Grayson. “The commitment to community housing options is also aligned with our strategic plans. We have already started working diligently with local municipalities and community partners to find affordable housing for the people we support."

Funds will also be allocated towards increasing employment income that can be earned without impacting benefits. This income will rise to $400 per month from the current $200 per month, beginning in the fall of 2018. Grayson noted this was "great news" especially as Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley will be launching a new employment service on April 2, 2018 to assist people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment.

“These additional investments can help Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley continue its mission to support people to live as independently as possible in our community," says Grayson. "They will also provide assistance to individuals and their families. With additional funding, we can continue to provide the high quality supports and services to the people within Renfrew County.”