• Caring for vulnerable children starts with caring for parents

    … the government’s flawed information on homeless births is not only a problem of inadequate data collection. It is also a symptom of a greater issue: the stigma attached to homelessness which impedes pregnant, homeless women from disclosing their status and seeking support… To address the root of this issue the province should make access to housing support more readily available to pregnant women and integrate such services within the health care system to encourage women to reach out rather than conceal their challenges.

  • Wynne government should dump cruel panhandling ban

    If the government is concerned about the threat to public safety posed by homelessness and poverty, the Safe Streets Act is precisely the wrong approach. The money wasted enforcing this unfair and ineffective law would be much better spent on, say, affordable housing or mental health services or other chronically underfunded social programs that seek to address the root causes of homelessness.

  • Four Principles that Can End Chronic Homelessness

    … success rested on four critical interventions: permanent supportive housing; rapid rehousing; a Housing First approach; and not criminalizing people experiencing homelessness… 70 communities, including Bergen, invested in a “problem-solving toolkit” designed to offer flexible solutions that respond to evolving challenges… The toolkit offers solutions based on four categories: data analytics; human-centred design; quality improvement; and facilitation.

  • Common misconceptions about homelessness

    First, we should move away from a standard housing policy toward a person-centered approach that responds to individuals’ needs. We should recognize that people who are homeless often have networks; someone may not have a home but may still have a home neighbourhood… Second, we need to integrate harm reduction approaches into housing policies…

  • Tory should commit city money to fixing the social housing problem, then ask the province for help

    “The time for action is now. In fact it was before now, because repairing social housing is a moral, economic and social imperative,” Tory said last week. Really? Why, then, do you not increase the city’s allocation of funds to repair the damaged buildings? Why are you promoting a freeze in property taxes instead of a dedicated 1 or 2 per cent increase to build a fund that stops the closures?

  • Don’t let social housing crumble

    … allowing the corporation’s units to keep deteriorating and be shut down would lead to higher health-care spending, rising crime and a host of other social costs… investing in repairs would create thousands of jobs, spur private investment, and generate billions of extra dollars in federal and provincial taxes. For both social and economic reasons, the provincial and federal governments must commit money for much-needed repairs before this crisis deepens.

  • 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.”