TORONTO, November 21, 2014-�Greg Spearn, President and Chief Executive Officer (Interim) of Toronto Community Housing, released the following statement in advance of National Housing Day, which will be marked on November 22, 2014.
Everything starts with a home. National Housing Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on the fundamental need for housing. As the days grow shorter and chillier, we are reminded that in Toronto having a roof over your head is not a luxury�it�s a necessity.
Unfortunately, for too many people in our city, a safe, affordable home is out of reach. The waiting list for subsidized housing in Toronto stands at 92,000 households�the longest it has ever been. At the same time, to make sure we can keep our buildings safe and habitable for the families who count on us, Toronto Community Housing needs to invest $2.6 billion over 10 years in catch-up repairs to fix our aging buildings. We are well on our way, but so far we only have one-third of the money we need.
Given the urgency of this challenge, I was glad to see how many people from different walks of life came together this morning at Alexandra Park to talk about improving access to affordable housing. Taking part with me were representatives from the City�s Affordable Housing Office, the Toronto Real Estate Board, Habitat for Humanity, Infrastructure Ontario, and the Ontario Home Builders. We were joined by residents of Toronto Community Housing and their neighbours from across the city. The reality is, the only way we will succeed in tackling a challenge of this magnitude is with all stakeholders working together to find real solutions.
Partnerships�with the government, our residents and the private sector�truly are the key to success. Partnerships will enable us to bring together the brightest minds and best talent in the industry to make real progress on repairing and renewing our aging buildings.
We face a turning point. Will we, as a society, invest to preserve the billions of dollars we have already spent to create the public asset that Toronto Community Housing homes represent? Or will we allow these homes to lapse into a critical state of disrepair�leaving us with no choice but to vacate and board up more units?
With that crucial question in mind, on National Housing Day I ask everyone to stand with us as we call on the federal and provincial governments to invest in social housing repairs. Together, we can fix our homes for those who rely on them today and those who will need them in the years to come.
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada�s largest provider of social housing, delivering homes for 58,500 households with low and moderate incomes. By providing clean, safe, well-maintained and affordable housing, Toronto Community Housing builds better homes, better neighbourhoods and a better city for all.
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