January 21st, 2015
January 21st, 2015
Toronto - Following the release of the City of Toronto’s draft budget, NDP GTA Issues critic Cheri DiNovo condemned the Liberals for refusing to restore the $86 million it cut unexpectedly from Toronto’s social housing funding.
“Toronto has still not recovered from the downloading program from the late 1990s, and now the Liberals are making things worse,” said DiNovo. “The Wynne government has downloaded 40 per cent of the province’s social housing costs onto the city with just 20 per cent of the population. These cuts have left Toronto with a half-billion dollar funding gap over five years.”
In 2013, the Liberal government cancelled the Toronto Pooling Compensation fund, which had been created to help the City of Toronto cope with its disproportionate social housing burden. According to a City of Toronto staff report, the funding loss equaled $43 million in 2014, rising to $86 million this year, and rising again to $129 million in 2016 and every year after that.
The draft budget counts on the restoration of this provincial funding in order to hold property tax increases to just 2.25 per cent. However, yesterday Minister Sousa outright refused to budge: “The province is not reversing its position on Toronto Pooling Compensation.” http://goo.gl/OZ2WzD .
“Instead of doing the right thing, the Liberals are forcing Torontonians to finance the final downloading of provincial social housing costs onto the municipality. With the loss of this provincial funding, property taxes will need to go up an additional 3.6 per cent or programs will need to be cut. The Liberals have wasted $8 billion with their risky public-private partnership schemes, and now Toronto’s most vulnerable citizens are paying the price,” said DiNovo.
DiNovo warned that further cuts are already on the way. According to the 2014 budget, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is among the ministries facing average annual budget cuts of six per cent per year, every year for three years.