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Money being given to those on waiting list for 10 years
New housing allowances for 550 Toronto families on the City’s affordable housing waiting list were announced by Mayor John Tory and Toronto’s Housing Advocate Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport on Thursday. These are the first new housing allowances given to families since 2012.
Housing allowances, funded under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program from the federal and provincial governments, provide $250 per month to families for rent so they can afford to continue to live in their homes while maintaining their position on the wait list. Unlike rent subsidies, which are tied to a particular unit, allowances also give families the flexibility to move homes if they choose to. The City currently provides housing allowances to 4,000 families.
“Far too many people – from single families to seniors, from people with disabilities to newcomers – simply can’t find safe, suitable and affordable housing,” said Mayor Tory. “As the city grows, we have to make sure that Toronto remains affordable and accessible to people of all income levels. I want people to have a place to live and build their lives no matter what neighbourhood they live in or how much money they make.”
Housing allowances are targeted to families who need it most: families with three or more children who have been on the waiting list for 10 years or more and families who need wheelchair accessible units who have been on the waiting list for eight years or more.
This is a significant step forward to provide affordable housing for families on the wait list. The City of Toronto is also working to deliver real action on building more affordable housing:
• 294 affordable ownership and rental homes will be built across the city upon City Council approval next week.
• The Open Door Program, which encourages developers to build affordable housing units, will go to City Council for final approval and implementation next week. Open Door accelerates the creation of affordable housing through a streamlined approval process, increased City financial incentives and the release of more surplus public land for development.
• The Mayor and the City of Toronto are hosting a Toronto Housing Summit on September 30 with housing stakeholders including developers, government representatives, tenants, co-ops and non-profits to provide input to the National Housing Strategy announced by the federal government last week.
“As Canada’s largest city, it is critical that Toronto makes its voice heard loud and clear on the new National Housing Strategy,” said Councillor Bailão. “I will bring together the best and brightest ideas from our partners and stakeholders to formulate Toronto’s response to the federal government.” – CINEWS