Poverty Group Wants New Homes to be Accessible

Monday November 2 2009

The Peel Poverty Action Group is asking Queen's Park to introduce laws that will make all new homes - being built in the province - accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The call for action came when members of the Peel Poverty Action Group (PPAG), an advocacy group working toward eliminating poverty in the region, met with officials appointed from the Ontario government Wednesday (Oct. 28).

The event was held to measure the impact of a law - introduced four years ago -that set standards of service to people with disabilities across the province.

"Construction people told us that if wider doors and so on were installed in new homes - and our friends stressed the word new - then extra costs would not be significant." said Edna Toth, chair of PPAG.

The group is asking the government to mandate that all new housing in Ontario be built with features such as wide doorways, bathtub rails and space for ramps.

Toth said it makes sense to build with accessibility in mind especially for people who become physically disabled through accident or aging.

According to PPAG, last year, some 334 individuals were on a wait list for supportive housing in Peel. She said some people were told they had to wait as much as 10 years.

At the meeting between the province and the advocacy group, PPAG members, through a slide presentation pointed out that the demand for special facilities in Peel is expected to rise as the number of seniors unable to stay in their home increases.

"But by far the most serious problem in accessibility for people who rely on Ontario Disability Support Program, is that it is not enough to live on," Toth said. ODSP provides about $1,000 a month from which people with disabilities must pay rent, transportation, and buy food.

Reproduced from http://www.thebramptonguardian.com/news/article/79612

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