The Close the Housing Gap campaign rallied on Parliament Hill today, with supporters calling on the federal government to put people first by contributing its fair share of the funding for social housing capital repairs.
More than 100 social housing tenants, stakeholders and politicians from Toronto and Ottawa rallied on Parliament Hill, urging Ottawa to "close the housing gap" across Ontario. They also called on the federal government to make new, long-term funding available for social and affordable housing.
"This sends a strong message to the federal government that people expect it to step up, not step back, when it comes to investing in social housing," said Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), co-chair of the Housing Gap campaign. "We intend to deliver the same message to Queen's Park as we continue to gain momentum and support."
Toronto City Council last week adopted an unprecedented 10-year financing plan for Toronto Community Housing. The plan will provide $864 million (or one-third) toward the $2.6 billion in new capital repairs Toronto Community Housing faces over the next decade. At the same time, Council called on the federal and provincial governments to each contribute their fair share of $864 million.
“Clean, safe housing is what allows families and communities to thrive. But unless all levels of government come to the table, we will not be able to tackle the billions of dollars in repairs our aging buildings need,” said Gene Jones, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing. “We are calling on Ottawa to partner with us, because it’s time we all worked together to ensure affordable housing remains the foundation of our vibrant communities.”
"The federal government has to get back involved in affordable housing for Canadians," said Doris Power, a Toronto Community Housing resident with a disability. "Low-income people and people with disabilities need housing that is affordable and housing that is accessible."
Media contact: Sean Gadon, Director, Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto, 416-569-1770, firstname.lastname@example.org