By Sargon Jajjo
The City of Toronto is receiving a financial boost from the province of Ontario to improve the quality of social housing.
Mayor John Tory announced on Friday that the city will receive get $154 million this year and next, through the new Social Infrastructure Fund.
“Investing in housing will relieve the strain on our health care system, on our corrections systems, on our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tory. “It will protect the opportunities and the equality that we all hold dear as Canadians.”
The mayor said both the federal and provincial governments need to be supportive when it comes to finical support regarding social housing.
“In Toronto and across the country, we are facing increasing pressures related to the repair and operations of our social housing,” said Tory in a media release.
Tory was joined at Regent park in downtown Toronto by other Canadian big city mayors. He was also joined by Chris Ballard, Ontario’s Minister of Housing and Poverty Reduction, and by Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
The Social Infrastructure Fund was announced in 2016 and is expected make social housing more affordable over the next 10 years.
While the new money was welcomed, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie raised one concern.
“The real-state proximity to the LRT is getting scooped up by developers,” said Crombie. “Today it provides affordable housing for our residents.”
After Tory spoke, Duclos announced that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Cooperation is now accepting application under the Affordable Rental Innovation Fund.
“In Toronto and across the country, we are facing increasing pressures related to the repair and operations of our social housing” – Toronto Mayor John Tory
The fund totals $200 million to help create up to 4,000 new affordable rental units over five years
The fund is expected to reduce the number of Canadians relying on government subsidies
Duclos said the fund is important, especially for young families residing in Toronto and Vancouver.
“Young families are increasingly worried that they are being priced out of the market,” said Duclos.
During the Housing Summit, Ballard said his goal is to end chronic homelessness in Ontario by 2025.
“We’ve heard from our sector partners where the need is greatest, so we’ve taken action.”