• 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.

  • Eight Solutions to Canada’s Housing Crisis

    The first step is the simple commitment to get it done. The federal government has opened the dialogue with its Let’s Talk Housing initiative and will be publishing a national housing strategy in 2017… Solution 1: Restrict foreign ownership and end tax evasion… Solution 2: Use municipal powers… to require developers to make 30 per cent, 50 per cent, or 100 per cent of new units of a development affordable and family-friendly, creating mixed-income communities.

  • The cost of poverty affects us all

    … the biggest barrier to ending poverty is the political orthodoxy we have lived by for the past 40 years: that good government is small government, that social programs must shrink, and that taxes are evil. It is over this period we have seen the most dramatic rise in poverty rates and income inequality… I’d be more than happy to pay more taxes if I knew that money would help my community to be healthier and happier.

  • Food Banks Canada: HungerCount 2016

    The number of people accessing Canadian food banks increased for the third consecutive year in 2016, and is now 28% higher than before the 2008-2009 recession. 863,492 people received food from a food bank in March 2016. 307,535 children are helped each month while children aged 6-11 make up about 6% of the total Canadian population, they make up over 12% of people accessing food banks
    155,756 Canadians in rural communities rely on a food bank every month

  • Ontario should test out plan for ‘basic income’

    The idea of providing a basic minimum income for everyone – no strings attached – is an alluring one that has been kicked around for decades… But designing a plan that’s effective, financially affordable and politically acceptable has proven beyond the wit of social reformers… To actually get out of poverty, Segal acknowledges in his report, people would not be able to rely only on his proposed basic income… “It is their labour that will accomplish this.”

  • Basic income is not just about work, it’s about health

    The social-welfare system is parsimonious, judgmental, demeaning, complex and bureaucratic. Worst of all, it tends to perpetuate, rather than alleviate, poverty… One of the unstated assumptions is that a basic-income approach would be revenue-neutral. But that is delusional… While a basic income will likely be helpful, it does not obviate the need for housing support, job training, education, subsidies for prescription drugs and so on.