Quality affordable housing is a top priority for most people in Toronto, but more needs to be done to make sure that it is available for every resident.
Both homeownership and renting has become out of reach for many people, and a growing number of families are paying more than 30% of their income towards housing, pushing them deeper and deeper into poverty.
Affordable housing is the responsibility of the City of Toronto, but both the Provincial and Federal Governments have a role to play in making sure that their communities have enough affordable housing to support every family.
SOCIAL HOUSING SELL OFF
The waiting list for social housing has grown consistently and is now over 83,000 households long. While the list grows monthly, the City of Toronto has approved the sale of over 60 homes in Toronto Community Housing and is considering a large scale sell off of an additional 600 homes as a way to deal with their backlog of capital repairs. The community with the largest number of homes potentially for sale is in Scarborough, in Malvern.
The sale of any homes in Toronto Community Housing will result in longer wait times for residents needing affordable housing and will eliminate the much needed accessible homes that large families and those living with disabilities need to lead safe and healthy lives.
A Special Working Group has been struck by the City’s Affordable Housing Committee that includes Scarborough Councillor Michelle Berardinetti and is led by Councillor Ana Bailao to “seek innovative solutions and new partnerships to address the repair needs of Toronto Community Housing and the future of its single-family homes.”
Support tenants that live in these homes, and the tens of thousands of others needing affordable housing. Contact the Special Working Group and let them know that the City needs a sustainable strategy that involves building more housing, not a mass, fire-sale of homes.
For more information:
Tenants For Social Housing: www.tenantsforsocialhousing.com
City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Committee: www.toronto.ca/affordablehousing
CUTS TO FEDERAL FUNDING
Tenants living in non-profit housing – many of them in the GTA – are in danger of losing federal grants that keep their rents low, paying rents geared to their income. They’ll face steep rent hikes, forcing them to leave, to be replaced by more affluent tenants. Already the number of housing units benefitting from these federal housing subsidies has dropped from 630,000 in 2006 to 613,500 in 2010, and could drop to 540,800 by 2015. The withdrawal of federal funds will make the housing crisis in Toronto and across Canada even worse. Already about a million households in Canada are either paying too much of their income in rent (often 50% or more) or living in degrading conditions. The threatened sale of TCHC homes shows what happens when non-profit housing doesn’t get the funding it deserves. We need to preserve the social housing we’ve got – housing co-ops and other social housing – for tenants now, and for all families and individuals who will need it in the future. The federal government can easily afford to provide the funds needed. Only $1.7 billion per year is needed to maintain the current funding – a tiny share of government spending. Why is the government willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on new jails and fighter planes – but won’t provide money needed for decent, low-cost housing? People across the country are demanding that the federal government commit to maintaining funding for social housing, after the funding agreements for this housing expires. Add your voice to this urgent campaign!
For more information:
Defend Social Housing: www.defendoursocialhousing.com