Demand for Federal Housing Aid Now!

On February 4th 2022, it was reported that another homeless/unhoused man was found dead in a bus shelter at the corner of Shuter and Sherbourne St in the downtown east end of Toronto.  It is suspected that he died of hypothermia.  He died only 120 meters from the large, vacant property at 214-230 Sherbourne St., that advocates have long demanded be expropriated and turned into desperately needed social housing.

Every month, about 14 people are dying unhoused in the City of Toronto, including an Indigenous woman who died at one of the shelter hotels and someone who recently died near the Don Valley. The shelter system has collapsed and the City of Toronto is unable to provide even the basic life-saving measure of safe shelter. There are well over 8,700 people who are unhoused, with emergency shelters full, hundreds of people sleeping outside, with many thousands more forced to sleep in unsafe situations or couch surf. There are over 1,500 unhoused people that the shelter system cannot accommodate.

The City of Toronto has failed to deal with this humanitarian emergency. We need the senior levels of government with the better revenue base to allocate the necessary funds to take immediate and meaningful action.  Without safe and adequate shelters as the necessary emergency support and a steady supply of appropriate social housing as the permanent solution, people will continue to die on the streets.  People are freezing to death across the country- in Toronto, in Montreal, Labrador and Winnipeg….

We cannot wait any longer.  It is unconscionable that our governments continue to implement policies that are killing people and continue to fail to address the desperate human need for social housing. The federal government’s National Housing Strategy is not working.  The Trudeau government refuses to fund a social housing supply program.  This is the only way to begin to end mass homelessness. Instead, the federal government continues to fund expensive rentals for private investors.   The federal government is responsible for causing and maintaining this avoidable crisis. Its policy of supporting un-affordable housing and un-safe shelters must end. It is not enough to issue media releases claiming it has a human rights approach to housing while it allows Canadians to suffer and some die for lack of adequate housing.

Please join us as we call on the federal government for immediate intervention and aid:

Thursday March 10 at 12noon

We will be taking our demand to the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, Marci Ien  –  430 Parliament St.

We will be taking our demand to the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, Marci Ien  –  430 Parliament St.

We will rally under the call for urgent action by the federal government, both for Toronto, and for the rest of the country.  Toronto needs the immediate construction of at least 10,000 units of rent geared to income social housing to even begin to address the homelessness crisis our city is facing.  In the interim, we demand the immediate expansion of the rapid housing initiative annually for the next 5 years to purchase or expropriate buildings for social and supportive housing.

We demand proper funding for Indigenous housing as a concrete action towards reconciliation.

For more information please contact – Shelter Housing and Justice Network (SHJN)