National Housing Strategy – Left Behind: social housing

Please see information about Left Behind: social housing by FRAPRU

Nearly 5 years ago, The National Housing Strategy was adopted by the federal government. First announced with great fanfare on 22 November 2017, Canadian Housing Day. Is the Strategy able to respond to the current housing crises: serious deterioration of the homelessness situation; scarcity of rental housing; sky-high rent; and the rise of phenomena such as ‘renovictions’, evictions and speculation? Will it really be able to “further the realization of the right to adequate housing” as the law adopted in 2019 requires?

We are pleased to share our new leaflet, updated after the last budget, in English & in French on that important question.

Please, don’t hesitate to share widely this document LefleatNHS

You can also share it from FRAPRU website.

In English

In French

Where there’s smoke, there’s no fire

By A.J. Whiters and Amie Tsang—originally posted in briarpatch

At the end of the third wave of COVID-19, the City of Toronto forcibly evicted about 30 unhoused people from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Videos from that day show police using pepper spray on supporters who showed up to protect their unhoused neighbours. New documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that in order to legitimize the violent evictions, City staff worked to control the media narrative around encampments, pre-determining media exclusion zones and inflating fire safety concerns in press releases.

Early in the morning on June 22, 2021, people living in and around Trinity Bellwoods Park noticed a temporary fence being erected around large areas of the park. The public would later find out that this fencing cost $139,109, while the private security and police protecting it added another $305,711. The fence was the physical enforcement of an exclusion zone, an area where police block public access – in this case, separating encampment residents from their supporters. And while members of the media are sometimes allowed inside exclusion zones (albeit with a police escort) to document what’s happening, at least five journalists say they were prevented from entering the exclusion zone that day.

Willms suspects his arrest was intended to “scare other journalists from crossing that fence.”

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Vote to expropriate 214-230 Sherbourne lost but the fight continues

Toronto

April 7, 2022

Yesterday – City Council voted 20-5 against the expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne for much needed social housing. Mayor Tory and Deputy Mayor Bailão argued against saving the community of Dundas and Sherbourne, against investing in the generational resource of public housing for poor people in that neighborhood and the uplifting of the whole community.

“For the developers the property is about profits. For the City, the question of expropriation is about money. For our community it is about housing people; it is about life and death. By refusing to expropriate, they are bowing to the developers and, thereby, facilitating the destruction of our community,” says Dr. A. J. Withers from the Shelter and Housing Justice Steering Committee. An additional motion to try to protect the corner by seeking to purchase the adjoining plaza for the development of housing lost 10-15.

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Press Conference and Rally to Expropriate 214-230 Sherbourne St. at City Council

Wed Apr 06, 2022

Media Advisory:

From Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee and the Shelter & Housing Justice Network

Wednesday April 6th:

9:00AM – press conference and rally Toronto City Hall

9:30AM – City Council – pack council chambers to demonstrate support for the expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne for social rent geared to income housing

Hosted by Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee

Speakers to include – Shelter Housing Justice Network, Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam, Toronto Drop-in Network, Downtown East End community  members

The City of Toronto’s bid to purchase 214-230 Sherbourne was lost.  However, the City still has the power to expropriate the property and turn it into desperately needed rent geared to income housing.  The out of control real estate market and private profit should not take precedence over the lives and safety of human beings.

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Media Release: Advocates Call for Expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne St. After City Loses Bid

Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee and the Shelter and Housing Justice Network are disappointed that, after nearly 10 years of organizing by many organizations and people in the community, the City of Toronto has failed to purchase the property at 214-230 Sherbourne Street. However, the City has the power to expropriate the site for social housing.

“We now call on Mayor John Tory, the members of the Planning and Housing Committee, the Executive Committee and all of Toronto City Council to expropriate this land and create 100% rent-geared-to-income social housing units,” says Josie Ricciardi, manager of community health programs at Regent Park Community Health Centre and spokesperson for Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee.

A report on the “Revitalization for the downtown east” will be on the Toronto City Council Planning and Housing Committee agenda  on March 25th and on March 30 a report back from staff on the bid to purchase the property will be going to the Executive Committee. The community is mobilizing a call for the City to proceed with expropriation immediately. Continue reading