• Urgent action needed to halt shut-down of social-housing units

    TCHC recently announced that it will be closing about 400 units next year because it doesn’t have enough money to repair them. That’s on top of 600 units already slated to be shut down this year…. the TCHC has a decade-long, $2.6-billion repair plan. But… TCHC says it can only access about $82 million [next year]. So once again the city is looking to the province and to Ottawa to do their part.

  • Liberals set homeless reduction targets ahead of provincial talks

    The upcoming national housing strategy looks to cut by 50 per cent the number of “chronic” homeless — many of whom won’t go to shelters and may be harder to reach through traditional support systems — and “episodic” homeless, those who find themselves on the street repeatedly… The Liberals’ second budget in March showed that they wanted to get money directly to cities and service providers without having to deal with provinces.

  • Don’t make ‘basic income’ an excuse for inaction

    The stark reality of that is shoddy housing, bad health, poor nutrition, social exclusion and petty crime — all the social ills that come with entrenched poverty. The government doesn’t need a five-year project to figure that out… “basic income” could be a game-changer — if it is designed properly”… In this area, the devil really is in the details… it could lead to a more generous, more efficient and more modern system. Or it could result in its opposite — a meaner, more constrained approach that puts public services at the mercy of the marketplace.

  • Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment

    Housing Minister Chris Ballard, responsible for Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, says basic income “has captured people’s imaginations.” “It’s a rare opportunity to make some real change… There has been so much talk, so much written. A little bit of study here, a little bit of study there. A lot of theory. We’re going to have an opportunity to do a rock-solid pilot that is either going to prove or disprove it.”

  • $5B housing pledge aims to help most vulnerable National Housing

    … the focus would be on supporting the most vulnerable Canadians, which in addition to people struggling with mental health, addictions and domestic abuse also includes seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans… The national strategy… will also include $3 billion dedicated towards strengthening the relationship between provinces and territories, targeted funding for northern communities and Indigenous communities… and increased funding to prevent and reduce homelessness.

  • A portable housing benefit could ease our homeless crisis

    Here are five reasons why the portable housing benefit is a smart idea: 1. It is the most efficient way to help households in need and address homelessness… 2. It will reduce homelessness… 3. It will reduce poverty… 4. Its portability means it is tied to an individual, rather than a housing unit, giving people choice [and] … 5. It is already working.

  • City wrong to choose roads over community housing

    Toronto Community Housing is planning to close 425 subsidized units this year because it can no longer afford to maintain them. TCH told the Star an additional 17,500 units — 30 per cent of the corporation’s total housing stock — are in critical disrepair… A 2014 report by the financial services firm KPMG rated Toronto as the most tax-competitive major city in the world… “The money is there if they want it to be, it just comes with trade-offs,”

  • We can end homelessness in Canada

    The report calls for a new federal/provincial/territorial framework agreement focused on community capacity, prevention, and “Housing First” for those now on the streets… Addressing issues of poverty and social justice are regular refrains for progressives; reducing spending while more efficiently using resources are a hallmark for fiscal conservatives. Being a contributing member of society and a full participant in the economy requires an address.

  • Tracking all homeless deaths is long overdue

    The efforts to track all homeless deaths… are an important step toward acknowledging the effects of homelessness and, hopefully, putting an end to it… not knowing how many homeless people die in Toronto each year means the city can downplay the problem and ignore the root causes, especially those of street deaths… Toronto’s wait list for subsidized housing stands at a disturbingly high 172,087, forcing some people onto the streets.

  • Find emergency shelters for the homeless

    The city has known there is a shortage of shelters for the homeless for years. A 2013 survey found there were 5,000 homeless people in the city, but currently there are only 4,300 beds. And Toronto’s wait list for subsidized housing stands at a stunning 172,087, forcing some people onto the streets… the city’s shelters for women, youth and families [were] all filled past their capacity last Thursday… Shelters for families were completely full.