London

London's social housing out millions after cap and trade cancelled

The London and Middlesex Housing Corporation is scrambling after a provincial decision to cancel the cap and trade program translated into a loss of $7 million in funding. The organization had been counting on that funding to improve air quality and energy efficiency of its buildings.

The London and Middlesex Housing Corporation is re-evaluating after loss of cap and trade

The London and Middlesex Housing Corporation is losing millions in funding after the government cancelled cap and trade. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

The London and Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) is scrambling after a provincial decision to cancel the cap and trade program resulted in a $7 million funding loss. 

The organization had been counting on the money to improve air quality and energy efficiency at its buildings. In fact, it had already spent $10,000 to complete energy audits to assess what needed to be done.

"It was unfortunate that our provincial government decided to go this way especially without consulting with those of us who are in this sector," said Sean Quigley, chair of LMHC.

"This cutting of the cap and trade has really put a serious dent in our ability to upgrade our buildings and to make them more livable for the people we serve," he said. 

The organization has a budget of slightly more than $2 million. The influx of $7 million would have been spent on the Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program, also known as SHAIP.

To qualify, social housing providers would need 100 apartments or more. LMHC is the only organization in London with that many units. Quigley said, finding energy savings for those units "is a big deal to our budget." 

  Another $950,000 would have been available to smaller social housing providers through the GreenON program. They have a harder time accessing funding, according to Quigley. 

What's next?

As for what to do about the situation, Quigley said it's too early to tell.

He said LMHC is set to speak with social housing providers across the province in an effort to ensure the Ford government is aware of their concerns. 

"Hopefully we can work together to make sure the voice of social housing is heard and that we're able to deal with the overwhelming need for social housing in our community," he said. 

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