Toronto and Ottawa Raise Their Voices on Housing!

Housing Network of Ontario Update

Low-income tenants and affordable housing advocates raised their voices in support of a meaningful, long-term plan to address the housing crisis in Ontario at four consultations held in the past week in Scarborough, downtown Toronto and Ottawa. Housing Network of Ontario members and supporters came out in force, with capacity crowds at each of the housing consultation meetings.

Minister Watson listened as participants shared their stories of housing insecurity and what is needed from the province’s upcoming long-term affordable housing strategy. People explained that long waiting lists for social housing need to be reduced, affordable units that are appropriate to accommodate people with disabilities and larger families need to be built, both social housing and private market rental units need to be repaired and properly maintained, a housing benefit or allowance needs to be offered to tenants to close the gap between low-incomes and rising rents, social housing priority lists should be expanded to include equity seeking groups, residential tenancy laws should be strengthened to prevent unaffordable rent increases and better protect low income tenants in the private market, among many suggestions.

The provincial consultation process takes a break in August but the Housing Network of Ontario won’t stop organizing with advocates across Ontario to ensure that everyone has a right to housing that is stable, adequate, equitably accessible and affordable.

Media: Links to recent media coverage of the Toronto consultations can be found here. An interview with Housing Network of Ontario members that aired on CBC’s Metro Morning can be heard on our website. You can view coverage of the Ottawa consultations here and here.

Video: Housing Network of Ontario co-chair Michael Shapcott interviewed Minister Watson at the Scarborough consultation. The video can be viewed on our website here.

Consultations: The consultations take a break in August and return in September for meetings in London, Hamilton, Lindsay, Sudbury & Thunder Bay. The Housing Network of Ontario wants to see housing consultations held in as many ridings as possible. If a meeting has not been held in your riding, please take 2 minutes to call or email your MPP’s office & ask “When & where do you plan to hold a meeting to get input on the affordable housing strategy being developed by the Ontario government? We want to give you input.” Please email to let us know if your MPP will hold a meeting. The Housing Network of Ontario has created an online hub that is regularly being updated with the latest news, reports from community meetings, tips for actions and plenty of other resources. More than 400 people and groups have endorsed the Housing Network of Ontario’s on-line declaration: “We believe everyone in Ontario has the right to live poverty-free and with dignity in housing that is stable, adequate, equitably accessible and affordable…

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