November 22, 2017 – Thornhill, ON – Today the Federal Government announced its National Housing Strategy which provides solutions for affordable housing across the country. As a part of this strategy was a co-investment fund which will drive the creation of 2,400 units for individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the next ten years, Reena along with the Intentional Community Consortium, will put this strategy into action.

Reena was established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities as a practical alternative to institutions. Since that time Reena has grown to provide support for 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Reena has created the Intentional Community Consortium with other agencies across Ontario to pilot a series of affordable housing projects for mixed use to be scaled out across Canada.

The Federal Government is to be applauded for recognizing the importance for all citizens to have a home and implementing a National Housing Strategy that will improve the quality of thousands of people’s lives. Now we need provincial and municipal leaders to align behind this effort and create local solutions to serve communities across the country.

Reena is proud to have played a part in sharing the experience of those it serves with national leadership. The bipartisan support the organization has received to highlight this unique need is a testament to Canadian values of inclusivity of all citizens. Those with developmental disabilities are vulnerable communities that need special attention, the total of 2,400 units over 10 years, is a start and should be increased in future strategies.

Numerous organizations contributed and are to be thanked for the plan that was put into motion today, in particular, the Center for Israel and Jewish affairs, who spearheaded online efforts that made it possible for the voices of individuals with developmental disabilities to be heard directly by Premiers across the country.

Bryan Keshen, President and CEO of Reena
“This targeted approach supports the tremendous work the Ontario Ministers of Housing and Community and Social Services have done to develop a provincial housing plan for citizens with developmental disabilities. I am confident that with the help of private supporters, families and all three levels of government we will exceed the established targets.”

Carolynn Morrison, Chair of Reena’s Government Relations Committee and Parent Advocate
“I know what having a home did for my son and am grateful that sense of worth will be experienced by others.”

David Cohen, Reena Board Member and Parent Advocate
“This housing strategy recognized the unique vulnerability and supports the experiences of people with developmental disabilities. Thank you Prime Minster Trudeau, Minister Duclos, Minister Hehr and Adam Vaughan for listening.”

To be part of the solution contact Reena by email at or by phone at (905) 889.6484.