Whereas the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) has been actively involved and advocating for solutions to address the homelessness issue affecting all Municipalities and the affects to our Main streets (BIAs) over the past 4 years and have included this major complex issue recently in our 2023 Provincial Government Budget submissions and also highlighted the homelessness affecting BIAs and their municipalities in our 2022 Provincial Election Toolkit and the fall 2022 Municipal Election toolkit. Additionally, the Ontario Big City Mayor’s Caucus unanimously adopted OBIAA’s 2022 Main Street Means Business Ontario Election Toolkit which highlighted the effects of Social Issues and Homelessness on our streets.
Whereas Ontario’s BIAs are affected by homelessness and the resulting affects to our small business community; dealing with:
  • Chronically Un-housed – Our main street BIAs are severely impacted by the current critical lack of housing and homelessness
  • At-Risk of Homelessness – Disproportional distribution and planning of affordable housing
  • Mental Health – BIAs and Municipalities are currently the ‘front-line’ for Social Issues
  • Safety Concerns and Perceptions, which include negative community interactions create a real crisis on our  “main streets” due to safety concerns and the difficulty BIAs have navigating the social service organizations and their different mandates and priorities
  • Security and Policing – BIAs are going beyond their mandate, creating or funding programs to mitigate current social challenges
  • Opioid Crisis – Business members and BIAs taking on additional roles to deal with the daily crises
WHEREAS the homeless crisis is taking a devastating toll on families and communities, undermining a healthy and prosperous Ontario;
WHEREAS the homelessness crisis is the result of the underinvestment and poor policy choices of successive provincial governments;
WHEREAS homelessness requires a range of housing, social service and health solutions from government;
WHEREAS homelessness is felt most at the level of local government and the residents that they serve;
WHEREAS municipalities and District Social Administration Boards are doing their part, but do not have the resources, capacity or tools to address this complex challenge; and,
WHERE leadership and urgent action is needed from the provincial government on an emergency basis to develop, resource, and implement a comprehensive plan to prevent, reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Ontario.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) calls on the Provincial Government to urgently:
a) Acknowledge that homelessness in Ontario is a social, economic, and health crisis;
b) Commit to ending homelessness in Ontario;
c) Work with AMO and OBIAA and broad range of community, health, Indigenous and economic partners to develop, resource, and implement an action plan to achieve this goal.
AND FURTHER THAT a copy this motion be sent to this Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services; and the Minister of Health, the Association of Ontario (AMO) and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and our member BIAs.

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