Every Monday, November to April, Beach United Church provides
a warm place to sleep for 25 homeless people, adding to the more than 7400
shelter beds in Toronto.
The City and non-profit housing organizations, like Fred
Victor who we support, provide subsidized housing for people that can’t afford
market rents. The subsidized housing waiting list has 104,000 households; 3,000
are housed each year.
Rental housing is getting more expensive and many of our
family and friends can’t find decent affordable housing.
In December, Council approved a 10-year Housing Plan, including 40,000 new “affordable” rental homes. I say “affordable” with quotation marks because not all 40,000 homes will be affordable to most households and few will address the needs of the 104,000 households that need deep subsidies.
City Council’s Housing Advocate, Ana Bailao, noted recently
that there are more construction cranes in Toronto than almost any North
American City. We all see the construction boom; mostly “luxury” condominiums
that our friends and family can’t afford.
Toronto, like other Cities, has the authority to require a
minimum percentage of affordable housing in new developments. City staff have been consulting on how to
implement Inclusionary Zoning and will make recommendations to Council’s
Planning & Housing Committee in March.
Despite Mayor Tory’s commitment to address Toronto’s housing
crisis, the recommendations may contribute little. The affordability
requirement could be limited to only some developments. The proportion of
affordable units could be only 10 or 20%.
The definition of “affordable” may be laughably high (recently announced
“affordable” housing at the Honest Ed site includes 1 bedroom apartments at
$2,000). And the units may be required
to stay “affordable” for as little as 10 years.
We can do better. Toronto developers (including Loblaws,
developing at Woodbine and Danforth) will get very rich building new condos.
They can afford to include some affordable housing for our friends and
If you agree, tell your Councillor and Mayor Tory. (firstname.lastname@example.org
and email@example.com or councillor _ last name @ Toronto.ca )
If you want to know more, let me know.