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September 5, 2013
Close the Housing Gap campaign enters new phase
  
The City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing today kicked off an exciting new phase in the Close the Housing Gap advocacy campaign, unveiling the poster that will appear in 136 bus shelters throughout the city, as well as in Ottawa.

"Today, we are boldly expanding the visibility and reach of Close the Housing Gap," said Campaign Co-Chair Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport). "This will help drive the message home to Ottawa and Queen's Park that they need to put people first by investing in social housing."

“We encourage people to join their voices with ours in calling on Ottawa and Queen's Park to provide their fair share of the millions of dollars needed to maintain Toronto’s aging social housing stock in good repair," said Bud Purves, Campaign Co-Chair and Chair of Toronto Community Housing’s board of directors.

“Toronto Community Housing and the City are working together to find innovative ways to raise capital dollars such as asset sales, mortgage refinancing and operating more cost-effectively,” said Gene Jones, Toronto Community Housing President and CEO. “But we cannot do it alone. We need the federal and provincial governments at the table with stable funding for social housing so we can fix our buildings and improve the lives of our residents.”

The unveiling took place at a bus shelter on Queen's Park Crescent East across from the provincial Legislature. Posters will start appearing in Toronto on Monday, September 9. In October, posters will go up near Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Close the Housing Gap calls on the federal and provincial governments to put people first by continuing to fund social housing at existing levels and by making new, long-term funding available for social housing capital repairs.

Over the next five years, federal contributions to social housing will decline by $33.4 million and will eventually shrink to zero by 2031. Filling the $33.4 million gap alone would require raising property taxes by about 1.4 per cent.

"At the same time, the province’s refusal to harmonize social assistance subsidies between private market and social housing renters unfairly imposes an annual shortfall of some $81 million on Toronto taxpayers," said Councillor Bailão.

The Close the Housing Gap campaign calls for:
• the federal government to stop withdrawing money from social housing and instead reinvest it back into social housing capital repairs
• the provincial government to treat social housing providers fairly when paying social assistance rent rates, and
• Ottawa and Queen’s Park to provide fully-funded, long-term housing strategies.

Details about the Close the Housing Gap campaign can be found at http://www.putpeoplefirst.ca.

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing landlord. Its core business is to provide clean, safe, well-maintained, affordable homes for low and moderate income households. Through collaboration and with residents’ needs at the forefront, it connects residents to services and opportunities, and helps foster great neighbour¬hoods where people can thrive.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Gil Hardy, Affordable Housing Office
416-397-4701
ghardy@toronto.ca

Sara Goldvine, Toronto Community Housing
416-981-4252
media@torontohousing.ca

Braden Root-McCaig, Councillor Ana Bailão's Office
416-892-5406
brootmc@toronto.ca

 

 

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