Close the Housing Gap campaign kicks off 2014 activities

News Release

January 29, 2014

Close the Housing Gap campaign kicks off 2014 activities

The Close the Housing Gap campaign kicks off its second year of pushing the federal and provincial governments to contribute their fair share of funding for social housing capital repairs by taking its message to Parliament Hill and at Queen's Park on upcoming Advocacy days.

"Close the Housing Gap is the voice of social housing tenants," said Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), co-chair of the Close the Housing Gap and Chair of the City's Affordable Housing Committee. "It will grow even stronger as we work with the endorsing organizations and other supporters who brought their great ideas to this roundtable."

The two-year campaign will also deliver its message with posters in bus shelters across Toronto and adjacent to Parliament Hill. Close the Housing Gap's 2014 Action Plan was finalized at a roundtable discussion last night, which drew more than 100 supporters, elected officials and social housing tenants. They expressed strong support for the need for governments to renew expiring social housing funding agreements.

"The campaign is building on behalf of the people who deserve to live in safe and decent social housing," said Bud Purves, co-chair of the Close the Housing Gap and Toronto's Community Housing Board Chair. "With the actions we have planned for this year, the federal and provincial governments will no longer be able to ignore them."

"I was proud to be part of the Toronto delegation that took the Close the Housing Gap message to Parliament Hill last fall," said social housing tenant Sherri Williams. "I look forward to continuing that momentum in 2014."

Supporting organizations are planning campaignrelated events, while grassroots activities will continue in 2014 and are expected to include tenant-organized rallies. The campaign is also expected to bring its message to trade shows and exhibitions in Ontario.

Participants also learned that more than 140 municipalities across the country have endorsed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities national campaign, Fixing Canada's Housing Crunch.

Close the Housing Gap, a joint effort of the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing, got off to a very successful start in 2013, with advocacy on Parliament Hill, transit shelter posters in Toronto and Ottawa, public events and a growing list of major endorsers.

More information is available at
http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=282b52cc66061410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

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


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