As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to deepen housing injustices and homelessness across Toronto, Social Planning Toronto celebrates National Housing Day with hope and determination.
It was on November 22nd,1998 that the Big City Mayors Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities endorsed the declaration of homelessness as a national disaster made by the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, a housing advocacy group.
More than two decades later, homelessness persists and continues to have devastating impacts on our friends, neighbours and communities. Now every year on November 22nd housing advocates, stakeholders and residents come together to demand an end to homelessness and housing precarity.Read more
Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities is a first-of-its-kind study, mapping spatial exclusion by racialized and immigrant status in Toronto’s wards. Disaggregated race-based and other social data from the 2016 Census of Population are used to examine key indicators of rental housing inequality, including core housing need, lack of affordable housing, unsuitable or overcrowded housing, and housing in need of major repair.
Presented through over 50 new maps and figures, our analysis reveals
- the ways in which racialized individuals, specific racialized population groups, newcomers, and refugees are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis in Toronto;
- identifies the intersecting social, racial, and spatial dimensions of Toronto’s housing crisis; and
- confirms Toronto’s position as a major site of Canada’s housing crisis and highlights the precarious housing circumstances of many renters.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Rod Phillips outlined Ontario’s roadmap for pandemic recovery in the much anticipated 2020 Provincial budget. Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is based on a record $38.5 billion deficit and provides $15 billion in new support.
Although the budget outlines initiatives to protect, support, and help our province to recover from the pandemic, much can be said about who benefits from this budget and who is left behind.
Health care and small businesses have, understandably, received attention in this year’s budget. However, the 2020 Ontario Budget shortchanges local communities and the organizations that serve them. An effective and far-reaching pandemic recovery requires significant investment in both.Read more
Toronto’s housing crisis existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has intensified housing challenges and shone light on the urgent need for immediate solutions, and medium and long-term policy interventions. Low-income and equity-seeking groups identified affordable housing as the top priority for COVID-19 recovery in SPT-supported consultations.
Though Inclusionary Zoning will not end Toronto’s housing crisis on its own, this promising tool would increase the supply of affordable ownership and affordable rental housing in the city. So what is Inclusionary Zoning? In Toronto, Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) would require a percentage of new condominium and new purpose-built rental housing to be affordable to residents with low to moderate incomes, benefitting a growing segment of Toronto residents who don’t earn enough to afford market prices but earn too much to be eligible for social housing.Read more
Last week our Interim Executive Director, Caryl Arundel, deputed before the City of Toronto's Executive Committee about the reports from the City Manager and the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR).
The TORR report included 83 recommendations, ranging from detailed, service-related recommendations to others focused broadly on issues and relationships. The report was based on input from Torontonians, including marginalized communities who participated in SPT-supported consultations (summarized in the Community Voices Pave the Road to Recovery report we published last week). The City Manager’s report focused on how the City would address TORR's recommendations.Read more
The Ontario government has undertaken an attack on local democracy once again, and this time the target is changing the rules for municipal elections.
Hidden in Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020, a bill focused largely on COVID-19 recovery, the Ford government is attempting to revoke powers from municipalities across Ontario. If passed, municipalities will no longer have the option to use ranked ballot voting.Read more
More than 1,400 Torontonians Tell City Council What They Want to See in Our City’s Pandemic Recovery
More than 1,400 Torontonians whose voices are not usually heard at City Hall took part in consultations to tell the City what they need as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their opinions and ideas are shared in our new report, Community Voices Pave the Road to Recovery.
The City of Toronto partnered with us to design and deliver a city-wide consultation process—led by residents, grassroots groups, and community organizations—to engage residents from Indigenous populations, equity-seeking groups, vulnerable populations, and neighbourhoods with disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 cases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has focused public attention on the health, well-being, and increased vulnerability of seniors, but too many of Toronto’s seniors were already struggling before the pandemic due to income and housing challenges, says a report released today. The report’s authors call on all three levels of government to take urgent action against senior poverty.Read more
As the Mayor, Councillors and Toronto’s new Office of Recovery and Rebuild begin their work on Toronto’s recovery, local organizations representing tens of thousands of people from across the city, including Social Planning Toronto, submitted a letter to the Mayor and City Council that outlines 10 principles for a bold, green, and just recovery.
In a recent letter, Toronto City Councillor and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy made clear the pivotal role of race-based, socioeconomic, and other social and demographic data in understanding COVID-19, its impact on marginalized groups, and the development of effective policy, programs, and practices that protect our communities. His letter confirmed the Board’s commitment to pursuing the collection and analysis of race-based and other social data and called on the provincial government to adopt similar measures across Ontario.Read more