The 2012 provincial budget has eliminated two critically important programs for people on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.
The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit is being cut.
The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) is important because:
- It is targeted to assist people on social assistance – people who rely on OW or ODSP are among the most vulnerable in Ontario.
- It provides people with the direct assistance they need to retain their housing and prevent homelessness – it can help them pay their rent or utility arrears, or help them move to safer or more secure housing.
- It is a mandatory benefit – people that are denied are able to appeal the decision. This oversight ensures a measure of fairness for Ontarians with low-income and protects them from arbitrary decisions.
These critically important aspects of CSUMB will be lost in January 2013. That’s when the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will get half of current CSUMB funds and give it to municipalities for local housing and homelessness programs, which are meant to serve an even larger pool of low-income people.
The other half will be taken out of social assistance altogether. CSUMB will cease to exist as of January 2013.
And the Home Repairs Benefit is being cut.
The Home Repairs Benefit helps people on assistance pay for things like emergency plumbing repairs, patching a leaky roof, or repairing damage from fire or floods. Starting January 2013, this benefit will be taken out of social assistance as well.
The only alternative for people on OW or ODSP who own their own homes will be programs that provide loans for repairs – which people on OW and ODSP cannot afford to repay.
This cut will disproportionately affect people on ODSP, as well as people in rural, northern and First Nation communities.
Act now to save these programs!
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Your email will go to John Milloy, Minister of Community and Social Services, Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Dwight Duncan, Finance Minister, urging them to reverse these cuts and restore full-funding to these critical programs.