Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Affordable housing’

G. W. Kassa, Guest contributor

One of the biggest tasks facing the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is providing enough affordable rental housing to accommodate the needs of its growing population. We all know food, clothing, and shelter are the necessities for our survival. However, obtaining and maintaining these needs, and juggling between them continues for many renters in the GTA. This is especially relevant given the current economic climate and the tremendous need for rental housing from an increasing population.

An important part of this discussion concerns families who earn incomes above the low-income guidelines, yet close to considered middle or median income. The inability to find affordable rental housing has become the new reality for this group with the rising costs in the rental market and without the wage increases. Hence many renters resort to sharing rental units with several others in need of affordable housing which resulted in heavily overcrowded rental units. Also, this rental housing crisis has been exacerbated by the lack of TCHC subsidized housing which was further compounded by unheeded need for massive repairs and renovations of TCHC rental buildings.

Given the current economic environment of a bubbling real estate market, prices of housing costs are being artificially inflated. Construction companies/developers are less likely or willing to take a contract to build lower-priced housing. To entice and encourage developers, the municipal government has indicated a willingness to provide incentives by offering lands in the form of a lease and waiving property taxes. As a result there has been more emphasis on constructing condos in recent years to satisfy the demand of foreign buyers who make purchases as an investment rather than a home. That is another contributor to the high cost of renting as there is great demand but tight supply.

At the beginning of this year, the Toronto City Council approved a plan to build forty thousand affordable rental units over the next twelve years. The plan provided financial incentives for private developers to construct buildings with these housing components on specific sites provided by the City.  In the first phase of this plan, ten thousand residential units are expected to be constructed, with ‘one-third’ defined as affordable rental housing. The remainder of the units will be market rate rentals or condominiums.  This plan is a step in the right direction, however it doesn’t meet the demands for reasonable rentals for those unable to afford high rents.

Defined affordable rental housing should be increased to ‘one-half’ instead of the ‘one-third’ requirement goal. Furthermore, since the first phase plan includes sites close to subway lines, most or all these units should fall under the lower-priced criteria. That would be a major step in meeting this economical supply housing challenge. An additional benefit will be reduced travel times for workers to get to their place of employment.

There is still hope if we continue to engage with Toronto City Council and push for the changes that were approved

________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE – Refer to these links for more detailed information on the housing crisis:

Toronto council approves plan to build up to 3,700 affordable rental units on City-owned lands
https://globalnews.ca/news/4904971/housing-toronto-council-meeting/

Mayor John Tory unveils 3-point plan for building affordable housing
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/john-tory-affordable-housing-promise-1.4876659

and

DOCUMENTARY – PUSH – YOU CAN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
(An investigation about how global finance is fuelling the housing crisis)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/129924971/push-you-cant-live-here-anymore

 

Read Full Post »

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) is organizing a National Housing Day of Action on Friday, November 18, 2016, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST.
Refer to: http://www.acto.ca/

Description
Food, water and shelter are some of the most fundamental human rights, yet Canada is facing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Everything begins with housing – without it, no one can truly live life with dignity.

The Canadian government has promised to fix the affordable housing crisis with Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy. On November 22nd, they will announce what they have heard people across Canada say is needed in a National Housing Strategy. We are calling for the government to ensure our National Housing Strategy will guarantee everyone the right to safe, adequate, and affordable housing.

Make your voice heard. Together let’s make a commitment that we will hold the government accountable.

You can access the ACTO flyer for this event at this link: nhd_flyer

Read Full Post »

The 2011 Ontario Provincial election will take place October 6, 2011

At this time of fiscal constraints, inflation, jobless rate, environmental concerns and continuing economic uncertainties, the daily lives of many Ontarians are affected adversely.  In particular, many tenants seeking affordable housing face tough choices trying to keep a roof over their heads and feeding their families.  In this election it is critical that candidates seeking your support find creative (more…)

Read Full Post »

Despite the ominous forecasts and dire warnings about the increasing seniors population and the burden that will place on social services we don’t hear much about practical solutions to deal with this challenge. Given the fact life expectancy has been steadily increasing, we have to accept there is a crisis looming that will impact not only pensions, health and (more…)

Read Full Post »

By I. Aagaard, Guest Contributor

 

Hi there:

 

I’m back! Me, with the previous Sustainable Affordability and MISSING: National Housing policy in Federal Elections! contributions. This time I’m here with a suggestion: That tenants collectively approach Ottawa and Queen’s Park for financial help so that we, too, can do our part in saving or creating jobs during these tough times.  After all, if GM and Chrysler, to name a few, can get help from Messrs. Harper and McGuinty, then why can’t we?

 

Think about it! If our respective governments are prepared to help bail out big companies that are poster boys for a capitalist society, then (more…)

Read Full Post »

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that is beyond our control and have to terminate a rental lease agreement early. In the present economic climate there will probably be an increasing number of renters needing to end their lease/ tenancy agreement early. It could be that laid off or underemployed renters will be seeking less expensive accommodation to survive the downturn in the economy. Some tenants may have found more suitable accommodations and others may be faced with the prospect of becoming homeless due to the economic downturn. Tenants may have to relocate for a new job. It may be that they want to move because of NOISY TENANTS or ‘harassment by a tenant’ and the fact that the landlord is not taking their complaints seriously. Check Municipal Licensing & Standards (Chapter 591 Noise Bylaw) for more detailed information on noise violation. 

 

A tenant may also be concerned about safety and security in their building if they have been a victim of robbery, burglary or break-in and the landlord has not responded adequately. Or there may be existing tensions or conflicts due to other violations of the RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT such as malfunctioning utilities and outstanding major repairs, or Cockroach and bed bug infestation that the landlord ignores. There violations can make your unit uninhabitable. Naturally tenants would want out of their lease/tenancy agreement as soon as possible. There could also be any number of personal (more…)

Read Full Post »

The City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office has been involved in various housing initiatives to make life easier for renters in the GTA with low or modest incomes .  The initiatives include various strategies that would increase the supply of affordable rental housing and also provide opportunities for low-income renters to purchase a home.  Here are some examples of the City’s affordable housing initiatives:

1. Rental Housing
The City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office has a project in place to increase the number of affordable rental units available to renters with modest incomes. This ‘affordable rental housing’ project consists of 35 rental buildings under development and as of September 2008 a total 6 were completed.  You can view a list of the ongoing building and (more…)

Read Full Post »

 

In Beaches-East York the incumbent Liberal MP, Maria Minna, is once again heading back to Ottawa to represent us. The East York Tenants Group congratulate her.

Now to the business of getting some concrete action from our newly re-elected federal representative and the newly formed federal government.

Although our recently re-elected MP is in the opposition, tenants in Beaches-East York have certain expectations with regard to alleviating hardships faced by tenants, who by the way, comprise a huge segment of the residential households in Beaches-East York.

In the weeks preceding the election we raised a number of important tenants’ issues, not least of which is ‘affordable housing’. Two of the main factors in realizing ‘affordable housing’ are:  i) an adequate supply of rental apartment buildings and/or, ii) bringing back ‘rent controls.’  Several community groups and organizations have raised these issues time and again with politicians. The East York Tenants Group e-mailed political representatives at all levels of government (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: