50+ Things To Do to Fight Homelessness (3-fold format).pdf
Wellesley Institute National Housing Report Card
Reverse the housing cuts: New federal affordable housing investment required
Three key elements in an Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy: Health equity, affordable housing and a healthy third sector
Housing, homelessness and Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy
Shannon Kaloczi, Coordinator
Sherman Hesselgrave, Chair
Advocacy & Communications
KPMG Report suggests an End to Affordable Housing
Our members were alarmed and puzzled to learn that the consultant’s report in the core services review listed as a “key opportunity” the reduction or elimination of the development of new affordable housing by the Affordable Housing Office.
By adopting Housing Opportunities Toronto 2010-2020 City Council recognized investment in affordable housing as a public good, important in creating healthy, diverse and prosperous neighbourhoods. HOT established the target of 10,000 units of new rental homes over ten years. A target of 200 low-income ownership homes annually is now included in the program.
While the City contributes loans and grants, sometimes land, waives building and development fees, and reduces property taxes for affordable housing development, it remains a junior financial partner. Without continued Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing program funding, HOT will be a failed policy.
The KPMG report cites the low level of senior government funding as a reason to shut down or cut funding for the Affordable Housing Office. It is true that the level of funding over the last years falls far short in the face of huge and growing needs for adequate, affordable housing. The social housing waiting list is at an all-time high of over 79,000 households and only about 5,000 households are housed each year. Only a tiny amount of rental housing is built and what housing is available is unaffordable for the many thousands of residents with low incomes.
Are we then to say that no affordable housing production is better than some, albeit insufficient in quantity? We doubt that the 11,559 families and individuals receiving new rental and ownership homes or assistance for repairs to their homes under the program over the last ten years would agree. With the stability and security a home provides they are moving forward with improving their lives personally and as contributing members of society.
The benefits from affordable housing development far outweigh the costs associated with the Affordable Housing Office. Federal/provincial funds are used to leverage more funds from private and non-profit partners. Investment in housing reduces the costs of shelters and emergency services. The consultant’s report elsewhere recognizes this in its support for a “housing first” policy. Some of the housing program funds are used for supportive or transitional housing for otherwise homeless people.
Recently the federal government renewed its commitment to the affordable housing program with $1.4 billion in funding over three years. It is estimated that Toronto stands to receive $90 to 100 million. The idea that the City would turn down this funding frankly doesn’t make sense to us. Any cuts at all to the Affordable Housing Office will incur other costs to the City over time that result from families and individuals living in unaffordable, run-down and overcrowded housing.
We hope and trust you will continue to support the delivery of affordable housing through the Affordable Housing Office thereby recognizing the contribution that it makes to a healthy, inclusive and liveable City.
Advocacy & Communications
MultiFaith Alliance to End Homelessness