Housing in a State of Emergency: Shelters, Encampments, and Human Rights Discourses in Toronto (Seminar by the CITY Institute at York University)
This CITY Seminar will explore the tensions and ambiguities of the local state in the provision and illegalization of emergency housing. By emergency housing we refer to both municipally provided shelter space and the informal dwelling practices of unhoused/dehoused residents of the city. Contextualized in the current housing and COVID-19 crises in Toronto, our discussion addresses housing in a state of emergency from 3 different yet complementary perspectives: 1) public engagement and the role of oppositional publics in the siting of emergency shelters; 2) socio-legal questions surrounding allowable small structures during the pandemic on public and private property; and (3) the selective use of “housing as a human right” discourse.
Social Planning Toronto (SPT) is an independent social planning organization. SPT challenges inequity in our city—through knowledge generation, debate, civic engagement, advocacy, and collaboration—to spark social and policy change.
We are looking for a Community Planner (28-35 hours/week, with flexible work hours) with expertise in gender equality and experience working with diverse women, girls, trans, Two-spirit, and non-binary residents and the agencies that work with them to implement a consultation and community-based research process from October 2021 to March 2022.
With only one week left until the federal election, the days to come will play a critical role in shaping the next four years in Canada. We are in the homestretch and the stakes are high. In the midst of COVID’s fourth wave, the results of this election will determine how Canada responds to the immediate challenges of the pandemic, as well as how we recover and rebuild our social, economic, and environmental landscape.
Multi-tenant (rooming) house legalization goes nowhere, again
Council was supposed to vote on a new city-wide framework to regulate multi-tenant houses (a.k.a. rooming houses) at its July meeting. But, knowing that he didn't have the votes to win, Mayor Tory moved to defer the item to the fall. Some members of his Executive Committee were expected to vote against the item, and it even faced opposition from some progressive councillors.
Affordable, accessible, and reliable public transit is essential to Toronto residents. It affects our ability to get to work, access critical services, connect with family, friends, and our communities, and participate in recreation and cultural activities. Good public transit reduces road congestion, supports our collective response to the climate crisis, and advances environmental goals. And it is vital to advancing the City’s poverty reduction strategy, supporting local economies, and realizing our vision for building a better, more equitable, and sustainable city.
SPT and partners call for action on overcrowding in rental housing: A housing issue, a planning issue, and a racial justice issue
July 21 update: Good news! Councillor Wong-Tam’s motion did not require a Council vote. City staff will now carry out the work on overcrowding in rental housing. Watch for a staff report in the first quarter of 2022. We’ll keep you in the loop as this work proceeds.
Overcrowding is a widespread problem in rental housing. In addition to an important planning concern, it is also relevant to racial and social justice, as overcrowding disproportionately affects Indigenous peoples[i], racialized individuals[ii], newcomers[iii], refugees[iv], lone mother–led families[v], and low-income households[vi]. Further, it is a spatial or place-based problem, with higher rates of overcrowding among tenants in the northwest corner of the city, parts of North York and East York, and most of Scarborough
June 22 was a shameful day for Toronto. Our neighbours who are experiencing homelessness were forcibly removed from their encampment at Trinity Bellwoods Park by well over 100 police officers and contracted private security guards. Residents and advocates across the city watched in horror as the rights of those most vulnerable in our city were violated.
2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the Frances Lankin Community Service Award!
We established the Frances Lankin Award in 2011 to honour Fances Lankin on her retirement from United Way Toronto. Each year, we present awards in two categories: Lifetime Achievement, and Inspiring Leadership.
We are thrilled to announce this year's recipients!
What does the 2021 Federal Budget include for communities and nonprofits? Investments in nine important issues
On April 19, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, presented the Government of Canada’s 2021 Budget: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. The Federal Budget aims to conquer COVID-19, quickly overcome the pandemic recession, and build a more resilient Canada. Below, we break down what Canada’s new financial plan includes for local residents and community organizations in nine important issue areas.
Year after year, Toronto approves recordbreaking numbers of highrise condo units that the vast majority of renters can't afford. Most of these new units are bought up as investment properties to be rented at exorbitant prices and flipped. It's an unsustainable and terribly unfair way to develop our city.
What Toronto needs is more affordable, secure rental units. But over the last decade, for every 9 condo units completed, only 1 purpose-built rental unit was completed.