100 Organizations Endorse New Campaign to Vote for Affordable Housing in Ottawa Election


OTTAWA, ON - Two years following Ottawa’s declaration as the first Canadian city to have a housing and homelessness emergency, the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa has launched the “Starts With Home” campaign. The non-partisan campaign aims to rally residents together to support affordable housing with their vote in October’s municipal election.

Members of the Alliance, such as The Ottawa Mission, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, and Ottawa Food Bank, are having the campaign backed by a quickly growing list of organizations, including Ottawa Tourism, Ottawa Board of Trade, CHEO, and Federation of Citizen’s Associations of Ottawa. At launch, the total list of supporting organizations, non-profits, and businesses is at 100.

“Housing impacts everyone,” said Kaite Burkholder Harris, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Whether you’re a business owner whose staff can’t afford to live in the city, or a child going hungry because their family had to choose rent over groceries, we all need affordable housing. A wide range of organizations are endorsing the campaign because we all know how important affordable housing is to have a great city.”

The goal of the campaign is to get residents and organizations to sign up in support of the “Starts With Home” platform, which lays out six specific actions for a newly elected council and mayor to work towards. Each of these actions focuses on affordable housing: stopping its loss, creating more, and preserving the quality of what exists.

As the October election approaches, the Alliance will update supporters on where candidates stand on these issues, to better inform their votes. Interested individuals and organizations can read the “Starts With Home” platform, and register their endorsement of the plan, at www.startswithhome.ca.

“Every night, almost 2000 people sleep in shelters, including over 300 families,” said Burkholder Harris. We need to treat this as the emergency that it is.”

“The good news is that we know how to do better, and we ask Ottawa to vote accordingly in October.”

Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa is a coalition of organizations working together to end homelessness in the National Capital of Canada, and the lead organization behind “Starts With Home.”

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact:
Kaite Burkholder Harris, Executive Director
Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa
Phone: 343-552-0202 • Email: [email protected] 


Latest posts

Deputation at Community Services Committee
Budget 2024

Hear our Executive Director Kaite Burkholder Harris share long-term solutions to Ottawa's housing crisis at the Community Services Committee.

Tuesday, Nov 28th - Community Services Committee - Budget 2024

 Good Morning Chair and Members of the Committee,

Over the course of the past year, as the City faces the full impact of a housing crisis out of control, I want to start by pointing to actions that are working. In June, this Council approved an Integrated Transition to Housing Plan that City staff built with community partners. The result in the short term is an enhanced rent subsidy with greater flexibility, enabling people who have been stuck in homelessness to rapidly move out of the PDC’s. By allocating resources towards flexible subsidies like this, we enable people to secure stable housing.

Ending Homelessness Starts With Non-Profit Housing

By: Sophia Kelly-Langer

Take a moment to picture a person experiencing a housing crisis. What does it look like? For some, it looks like sitting out in the cold, hoping that the shelter is not full, so they can actually get in that night. For others, it looks like a family struggling to make the rent after a lay-off. It may look like a senior on a fixed income unable to downsize in their neighbourhood because there are no affordable options.


In the most extreme cases, a housing crisis looks like people living in encampments, some directly in front of Parliament Hill. These have become the only shelter options for some, including children and youth under bridges. The jarring contrast of the most vulnerable going without the basic need of housing just feet away from our country’s decision-makers is not lost on the people living in an encampment.

Increase Investment in Non-Profit Housing: Deputation to the Planning & Housing Committee, February 15th 2023

The fallout from the housing crisis means that as a city, we spend $30 million on emergency shelter costs every year. People experiencing homelessness engaging with police costs roughly $25M every year in Ottawa. We spend over $15 million a year on keeping people in hotels, because there is not enough affordable housing. Ending the housing crisis in our city means that we invest at least as much in solutions, as we do managing the crisis.

In order to make our city affordable, the smartest capital investment we can make is in non-profit housing.

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    Kaite Burkholder Harris
    published this page in Blog 2022-02-15 22:43:17 -0500

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