The province must pay its fair share for social housing: NDP

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath joined Toronto Mayor John Tory on a tour of the Bleecker Street Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) development on Monday. The building is just one of many social housing developments in need of urgent repair, but the new Liberal budget fails to commit badly needed funding for social housing.

Horwath repeated her promise to Tory and the people of Toronto: if the NDP forms government in 2018, the province will pay its fair share for social housing repairs. An NDP government would fund its share of a one-third split between provincial, federal and municipal governments.

“Families, regardless of income, have been hard hit by years of downloading and cuts,” said Horwath. “There is no doubt that those who live in Toronto Community Housing and social housing across the province have been ignored by the Liberal government. The conditions we saw today are heartbreaking, and the damage Kathleen Wynne has done is obvious. 

“A New Democratic government will step up to the plate, and be a partner to cities – including the City of Toronto – and pay its fair share to repair social housing units.”

The NDP Leader said Wynne missed her chance to undo some of the damage her Liberal government has done to social housing across the province. The recent Wynne Liberal budget does little to help any of the 181,000 families on the affordable housing wait-list in Toronto. Not only is there no new money for social housing in the provincial budget, there is no money for urgent repairs.

In 2018, provincial funding for Toronto’s housing programs is expected to be less than half what the city received in 2011. That’s a loss of nearly $180 million a year for Toronto’s social housing, emergency shelters, and homelessness prevention programs.

That has pushed TCHC and social housing programs throughout the province to a tipping point – unable to keep up with the repair backlogs. Even with a growing wait list, Toronto is forced to shutter affordable housing units as a result of the shortfall.

“It’s become clear that if Ontarians want a provincial government that will take social housing seriously they’ll have to wait for a change in government,” said Horwath. “New Democrats will take our responsibility to support safe, affordable homes seriously. We will stop the downloading and cuts. We will be partners in housing. ”

Horwath has also made commitments to Tory and all Ontario municipalities regarding transit and child care programs – important parts of making life more affordable for families.