TORONTO, March 19, 2014 - The Close the Housing Gap campaign delivered its message to Queen's Park today, telling MPPs from all three parties that it's time for Ontario to step up, not step back, when it comes to investing in non-profit and co-op housing in Toronto and across Ontario.
Campaign supporters urged the Ontario government to: pay its fair share for social housing repairs, provide equity to Toronto in rent subsidies and enter into a funding partnership with Ottawa to address the impact of expiring non-profit and co-op social housing agreements.
The advocacy day was a partnership between the City of Toronto, Toronto Community Housing, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada Ontario Region.
"Our message is clear: it's time for equity, fairness and a long-term commitment to social housing from the province," said campaign co-chair Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18 Davenport). "Municipalities are shortchanged in Ontario as the province pays private landlords higher rent subsidies than it does to public landlords. Toronto alone is out some $81 million a year because of this unfair policy. Action is needed to address this inequity."
"Like all Ontarians, our residents deserve to live in homes that are in good repair," said Bud Purves, campaign co-chair and Chair, Toronto Community Housing. Toronto Community Housing will need to invest more than $2.6 billion over the next decade in capital repairs to our aging buildings. We need the provincial and federal governments to partner with us, like the City of Toronto has, and each invest $864 million so that we can provide clean, safe units to the 58,500 households that call Toronto Community Housing home.
"All levels of government need to come to the table to ensure we don't lose good quality affordable homes when federal operating agreements end," said Tom Clement, Executive Director, Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto.
"Co-ops are very glad to see all three provincial parties involved in our housing campaign today and that they seem to understand the need for Ontario to play an active role in providing a solution." said Harvey Cooper, Manager, Government Relations, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.
The Close the Housing Gap campaign is in full swing with a range of activities underway. For more information: http://www.toronto.ca/putpeoplefirst.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.
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Gil Hardy, Affordable Housing Office, 416-397-4701, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Goldvine, Toronto Community Housing, 416-981-4252, email@example.com
Tom Clement, Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto, 416-465-8688 ext. 202,
Harvey Cooper, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada Ontario Region, 416-366-
1711 ext. 237, Cell: 416-809-5048 firstname.lastname@example.org