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Posts Tagged ‘Affordable housing’

CHALLENGES OF AFFORDABLE RENTAL 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

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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

 

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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

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We will have a federal election on October 19, 2015. The political leaders have aired their views and had debates on a variety of issues of concern to Canadians. Many families struggle to meet their monthly rent due to rising rental cost. Community housing is not an option for them as there is a huge backlog of applicants on waiting lists.  Moreover, most of the community housing buildings are in need of massive repairs and renovations. In light of the ongoing housing crisis, the lack of affordable housing and increase in homelessness should be more of a priority for all political parties and included in their platform.

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) and the Right to Housing Coalition are joining groups and individuals across Canada in a national week of action to address the issue of affordable housing and homelessness. The Right to Housing Forum is part of a national week of action taking place September 23rd-30th.

The Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants Association (FMTA) has extended an invitation to attend the Right To Housing Forum that will take place in Toronto on September 30, 2015. The FMTA recognizes that there is an affordable housing and homelessness crisis in Canada and the government is doing little to fix it.  Affordable housing should be an election issue. You are invited to this Right to Housing Forum to talk about the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in the context of housing as a right.
This event will be held at Ryerson University Library Building, Room 72, 350 Victoria St., Toronto. TIME: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Refer to this link to view the flyer for full details: https://righttohousing.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/votehousing4all_actoforum_flyer.pdf

For more information: http://righttohousing.wordpress.com/take-action
Use the hashtag #votehousing4all

NOTE:
Wheelchair accessible and ASL interpretation provided.
The forum will also be broadcast live online at http://acto.ca and http://righttohousing.wordpress.com
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/522951371188832

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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