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The province is hoping to help survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking afford housing.

Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking will now have access to a subsidy, or portable housing benefit, that helps low-income households manage housing costs. The subsidy gives a household the freedom to choose where to live and is not tied to a specific unit like most rent-geared-to-income social housing.

Starting January 1, 2018 survivors of human trafficking can also receive priority access to rent-geared-to-income social housing. Survivors of domestic violence currently receive priority access.

“We are committed to providing survivors of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking with more housing options,” said Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing. “Everyone in Ontario, no matter where they live, deserves to be safe and free from harm,” he said.

Changes to the application process will also make it faster, more culturally inclusive and recognize the cycle of abuse. This will make it easier for survivors and their families to apply for housing and help them escape abusive situations more quickly.

In the area, the Kenora Sexual Assault Centre received $506,294 in provincial funding as part of Ontario’s strategy to end human trafficking earlier this year. The funding will continue over the next three years, and was used to expand local services and launch a Human Trafficking Response Team. KSAC noted that the team responds to women at risk of, or leaving a trafficking situation, and are available 24/7.

Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for more than two-thirds of cases nationally. Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and over-represented groups of trafficked individuals in the province.

For more information:
KSAC tackling human trafficking
Human traffickers charged
Service board announces housing

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