• Toronto can solve its affordable housing crisis. Here’s how

    The city’s housing affordability crisis acts as a fundamental limit on our future progress. The talent needed to fuel our economy can no longer afford to comfortably live here… Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians… With the prosperity our city is generating, we have the means and capacity to address this crisis. What we need are leaders with the political will to take it on and solve it. Nothing less that the future success of our city and the future well-being of all Torontonians is at stake.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    … Toronto wound up with an affordable housing program that doesn’t actually produce much affordable rental housing. Instead, it results in housing that’s pegged to the city’s average market rents. Certainly, that’s not bad housing and it fills a need. But it does not fill the needs of Toronto’s low-income tenants as the city is so keen to suggest it does.

  • Seniors have too much house. Millennials have none. And a business model is born

    The most successful home-sharing programs involve a step-by-step process that carefully matches homeowners and tenants, requiring funding for trained facilitators… matched candidates meet, have trial stays and, if both agree, sign a clear contract that outlines expectations and rules while they live together.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    In a city like Toronto the cost of housing has risen far faster than incomes, making the average market rent calculation meaningless when it comes to defining affordability. That’s why the city has an affordable housing crisis that sees low-income residents living in homeless shelters; waiting for years to get into social housing where rents are affordable; and struggling to make monthly paycheques stretch to cover the rent and still put food on the table.

  • The Next Four Years: An Ontario election post-mortem

    … Premier-designate Doug Ford… swept into power on a thin platform that was never fully costed. Economists estimate at least a $10 billion fiscal hole in the party’s promises. That means there will either be deep and painful cuts, a lot of unfulfilled promises, or both. Progressives who hoped Ontario was on the brink of a major expansion of social programs—universal dental care, pharmacare, child care, affordable housing—will now be tasked with turning that hope into resolve.

  • Young voters in Ontario should make sure their voice is heard this week

    The main issues go well beyond health care and taxes, the perennial ones that drive older, more established voters. This time, affordable housing and daycare, cheaper university tuition, free dental care and prescription drug coverage and a higher minimum wage – all issues that directly affect a younger voting demographic — are in play… Overall, voter turnout in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada… Among voters in the 18-24 age bracket it’s believed to be closer to 30 per cent…

  • A voter’s guide to the 2018 Ontario election

    The campaign of 2018 featured bold social policies for pharmacare, dental care and child care, though they may never come to pass. The bad news: The parties’ plans to pay for their promises don’t quite add up — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, were never made public as promised. The worst news: None of the above may matter, because this election is being fought mostly over personalities, not policies. For better or for worse, here’s how the major parties rank on five major issues facing the province in this election:

  • 2018 Ontario Election Kit for Faith Communities

    ISARC has prepared a toolkit for faith communities to discuss issues and deliberate on electoral choices. As faith communities we have an obligation to care for those most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities… The ISARC Election Kit focuses on Income Security, Housing, and Employment Justice.

  • Reforming Ontario’s income security programs to reduce poverty and expand opportunity

    To move forward in response to the advice and recommendations of the working groups, the incoming government should set both a near- and longer-term agenda for reform to address the shortcomings of the current system… Near-term actions: Move to a flat-rate benefit for social assistance that combines the current basic needs and shelter amounts into a single rate adjusted for household size… [and] create a new housing benefit that is not tied to social assistance eligibility

  • Ontario’s cities need a new approach to homelessness

    The system seems to simply move from crisis to crisis with minimal evidence of strategic or long-term thinking… Under this model, Ontario government would issue a call for proposals to its municipal partners and flow new funding based on bids by municipal governments to achieve real measurable outcomes… fewer people in core-housing need, fewer people on the waiting lists for social housing, and a reduction and ultimate elimination of homelessness.