What is Housing Help?
Housing Help means … a number of services that help people who do not have a place to live, or who are in a difficult situation and may become homeless.
If this is you … Housing Help can help you find a place to live that you can afford and a place that is right for you.
Families, seniors, single parents, newcomers, youth… everyone can have trouble finding a place they can afford and a place that is right for them. Housing Help services help you settle into your new place to help you stay there as long as possible. When you have a stable place to live that you consider home, your health, or job and education opportunities can get better.
Support the Housing Help Association of Ontario (HHAO) in our mission to increase Housing Help Services as a recognizable identity, to strengthen homelessness prevention work for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness across the Ontario. Click on the CanadaHelps button and choose to have your donation designated to “Housing Help Association of Ontario.”
A Brief History of the Housing Help Association of Ontario
In 2008, the Housing Help Association of Ontario (HHAO) received a two year Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant to make the dream of an association a reality. Representatives from the following Housing Help Centres formed the first executive committee: Georgian Triangle Housing Resource Centre; Peterborough Housing Resource Centre; The Help Centre (Northumberland County); Sudbury Canadian Red Cross – Housing Help Program; Hamilton Housing Help Centre; COSTI – North York Housing Help and East York East Toronto Family Resources. During 2008, housing help conferences were held in Toronto and Kingston.
In 2009, HHAO launched findhousinghelp.ca, the first province-wide housing help website – a portal to a growing and comprehensive housing help service providers across Ontario. In addition, HHAO implemented sustainable association governance and online tools to enhance communication between housing help service providers.
In 2011, HHAO piloted housing help training initiatives in large and small communities across Ontario and conducted housing help related research and policy development. In addition, HHAO was selected by Enbridge to administer their Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and to bring a community voice and perspective to the Ontario Energy Board on policies affecting low income households across Ontario.
In 2012, the Hamilton Housing Help Centre became the trustee for the HHAO. The HHAO developed additional resources and workshops that focused on increasing awareness and understanding of the unique issues of rural and remote homelessness. A new association website was also created to connect people and agencies engaged in housing help services.
In 2015, additional housing resources, webinars, and tool kits were added to the findhousinghelp.ca website, and the site was translated into French.
Each year membership has grown as the HHAO actively engages in the issues of housing and homelessness in partnership with all levels of government and other social service sectors.