Dec 13, 2012

Health Providers Demand Restoration of Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit

TORONTO – Health Providers Against Poverty are joining anti-poverty activists across the province to call for a stop to cuts to the Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). The provincial Liberal’s are set to eliminate the CSUMB that some 16,000 people on social assistance in Ontario use every month to obtain or retain housing. The CSUMB allows people on welfare and disability to move into safer housing from hospital and shelters, domestic violence situations and homes that confer significant health risks such as bedbugs or mould.

“Health care providers know that income security and access to safe, affordable housing are critical determinants of health” says Laura Hanson, community nurse and HPAP member. “Every day we see the physical and mental impact of homelessness and unsafe living conditions”.

On December 13th, Health Providers Against Poverty will deliver a letter to the former Minister of Children and Youth Services and a current Liberal leadership candidate, Dr. Eric Hoskins. We appeal to Dr. Hoskins as a physician and self –described “renowned humanitarian”, to take immediate action to reverse this policy decision that will harm the poorest members of our communities.  HPAP is one of 10 groups holding events in the GTA to demand that this cut is stopped. Extensive research has documented that income and housing are critical determinants of health. As income drops, the likelihood of disease increases. Accordingly, income support provided to people living in poverty is an investment in the health of people across our province.

Health Providers Against Poverty is an interdisciplinary group committed to addressing poverty as a high impact health intervention.

For information on the Week of Action to Stop the Cut to the CSUMB go to http://www.ocap.ca/node/1032

Contact: hpagainstpoverty@gmail.com