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“When our emotional needs are met, we can face life and enjoy it.”

November 28, 2019

What a hopeful report is coming to Toronto City Council’s Economic and Community Development Committee next Wednesday!

City staff is recommending City Council pilot an “emotion-centred” approach to care at Lakeshore Lodge — one of ten long-term care facilities operated by the City of Toronto.  The plan requires increasing front-line staffing to offer 4 hours of care per resident each day, up from 3.5 hours.  But the real breakthrough is a proposed shift in the philosophy of care, from churning through tasks to enabling residents to live better lives. As the staff report says, “when our emotional needs are met, we can face life and enjoy it.” Read more…

What if we brought an “applicants first” lens to Toronto’s social housing waiting list?

July 10, 2019

Toronto’s Auditor General’s June 21st report, Opening Doors to Stable Housing, confirmed what many of us have known for years: Toronto’s social housing waiting list is not an effective vehicle for matching home-seekers to social housing vacancies. Read more…

TCHC’s $1.34 Billion: Is it the real deal?

May 14, 2019

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1.34 Billion investment to address Toronto Community Housing’s repair backlog.

It was the biggest one-time federal housing announcement in Canadian history. It was everything that TCHC had asked for, and the culmination of advocacy efforts that began in 2005 with the tenant-led Save our Structures campaign.

And yet the response from housing advocates has been strangely muted. Read more…

So THAT’s why we can’t find affordable homes!

May 3, 2019

Did everyone get to see PUSH, the new film screened to sell-out audiences at this year’s Hot Docs Festival? Or to hear UN Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha speak at last Tuesday’s Planning and Housing Committee?

Ms. Farha offers a welcome alternative to the thesis that a housing crisis can be solved simply by building more homes, and that the government’s job is to get out of the way. Read more…

Housing Now: Big, bold . . . but can it be bolder?

January 25, 2019

Now here’s the sort of “big thinking” Toronto needs.

The City of Toronto has mobilized the resources at its disposal — its land, waived taxes and fees, a $20 Million revolving fund to staff up and hire consultants, and expedited planning and legal approvals — to create more affordable housing on 11 City-owned sites.

Toronto needs this “whole of government” approach if we hope to achieve Mayor Tory’s target of 40,000 new affordable homes in 12 years. Housing Now started the ball rolling with the sites they own, but this inter-divisional approach is needed for all affordable housing development. Read more…

Creating new homes in just five months

January 10, 2019

It’s a conundrum.

We know that homeless people need homes.  But when people are dying in the streets and our shelters are over-capacity, we can’t wait years to shepherd affordable or supportive housing through funding and planning approvals. So we create shelters and respite centres – not because we think they are a permanent solution to homelessness, but because they are the solution we need right now.

But what if we could create a self-contained apartment as quickly as a shelter bed?  It’s what Vancouver is doing. Read more…

Inclusionary Zoning is “definitely a good thing” — developer

November 2, 2018

Now this is what I like to hear. In the lead up to the municipal election, developer Alfonso Romano, President of Castlerock Numa, joined Steve Paikin and three other panelists to cheer on Inclusionary Zoning.

Mr. Romano described Inclusionary Zoning as “definitely a good thing,” that would create a level playing field for developers across the City. In Romano’s words, “You really need to legislate this and basically say [to the development industry], ‘You have to take up this social responsibility and be part of the solution.”

Exactly so.  Read more…