Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns is urging Premier Kathleen Wynne to restore funding to Toronto social housing, as decades of cuts by Conservative and Liberal governments have left the city scrambling to repair crumbling social housing stock.
“Nearly 20 years ago, the Conservatives downloaded responsibility for social housing to the municipalities; they had no way to pay for it. This action created a permanent crisis for affordable housing, most acutely in Toronto,” explained Tabuns this morning during question period. “Instead of fixing this crisis, the premier made things worse by cutting $129 million per year in annual funding for Toronto’s housing programs.
“Half of Toronto community housing homes will reach 'critical status' within five years due to a lack of funding for capital repairs.”
Tabuns and Ontario’s New Democrats have repeatedly called on Wynne’s Liberal government to restore the provincial portion of social housing operating costs, and to help municipalities address the outstanding repair backlog.
“By 2019, Toronto city staff estimates that provincial funding for Toronto’s housing programs will have been cut by nearly 60 per cent from 2011. This premier is responsible for most of these cuts,” said Tabuns. “The premier’s cuts mean that the thousands of Toronto families risk losing their homes due to disrepair. No other government in Canada or the developed world ignores its social responsibility to fund social housing programs the way this premier has.”
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has pledged to restore the provincial portion of social housing funding if New Democrats form government following the 2018 election.
Tabuns called on Wynne to do the same, asking, “Will the premier stop, reverse her funding cuts, and fund the province’s fair one-third share of TCHC’s capital repair costs?”