Posted March 19, 2015
Members and volunteers of ACORN Ottawa gathered near the Human Rights Monument Wednesday to shine a light on problems with the Ontario Disability Support Program.
The organization claims the $479 ODSP allowance set to cover housing or rent fees each month is hardly enough to cover the cost of living for most disabled Ontarians.
The main initiative of the ACORN rally was to advocate for a minimum 20% increase in this housing allowance.
"My rent costs have changed, but the overall benefits haven't gone up, so it's very hard to get my money's worth," stated Ray Noyes, an ODSP recipient living in the Vanier area.
"When you're on a low income even a tiny bit helps, and it goes towards useful things."
Noyes also claims that money issues hold many disabled citizens back from taking steps towards finding work, such as not being able to afford laptops, internet or even bus passes, after using necessity money to cover the cost of housing.
Some, like 21-year-old Curtis Bulatovich, face the additional struggle of missing out on education opportunities.
After putting himself on a social housing wait list back when he was 16, Bulatovich says he has never been given a single offer over the past five years and is left paying the steep rent fees where he currently lives.
"I would love to go back to school, but I can't even afford the cost to apply, let alone get a credit card to do so," said Bulatovich.
"I think it's time we show a bit of love to our disabled citizens. A 20% raise would give enough money so that we will struggle a little bit less."
Article by Dylan Conway-Hartwick for the Ottawa Sun