Six Demands for Immediate Action
1. Invest in actually affordable housing. Obtain vacant buildings to convert into housing. Create 10,000 units of rent-geared to income housing in the next 24 months.
2. Immediately enforce an eviction moratorium. The Toronto Foundation estimates that 10% of renters are at risk of eviction – that is at least 130,000 people!
3. Immediately end the criminalization of encampments and issue a moratorium on clearing encampments. No one should be ticketed or harassed by police or private security for living in a park.
4. All shelter and supportive housing sites must be user-friendly and include robust overdose prevention and harm reduction services.
5. Until there is enough permanent, safe, dignified, and affordable housing, immediately ensure enough emergency shelters. That means 2000 more rooms within 4 months.
6. Immediately provide winter survival gear for those in encampments, including fire safety gear like fire extinguisher, and sand as well as sleeping bags, access to food and water, winter clothing like mitts, toques, long underwear, jackets and wool socks.
List of Demands
- Homelessness State of Emergency: That the City of Toronto call a state of emergency as it relates to the homelessness crisis in the city.
- Opioid State of Emergency: That, due to its impact on people who are homeless, and the rising number of overdoses and overdose deaths in and out of the shelter system, that the City of Toronto call a state of emergency as it relates to the opioid crisis, and seek Provincial and Federal assistance in the fast tracking and funding of Overdose Prevention Sites and other overdose prevention initiatives.
- Open all available emergency shelter options now: That the City of Toronto immediately open all four Sprung Instant Structures, and any other available spaces to ensure there is adequate access to shelter during this current emergency, including 24/7 safe spaces for women, children, LBGT individuals, as well as harm reduction and low barrier options.
- Add 2,000 new shelter beds or transitional housing units. That the City of Toronto open an additional 2,000 shelter beds or transitional housing units in 2019 in order to respond to the dangerously over-crowded occupancy levels currently being experienced in all sectors of the city’s shelter system.
- Increased investment in rent-geared-to-income social housing: That the City of Toronto commit to investing in, at a minimum, 5,000 new rent-geared-to-income social housing and supportive housing units per year.
- Significant budget increase for housing and homelessness supports: That all levels of government, including the City of Toronto, immediately commit to investing an additional 1% of their total budgets to solving the housing and homelessness crisis.
- Increased investment in preventing homelessness: That the City of Toronto preserve our current supply of affordable housing by ensuring no further TCHC housing is sold or shuttered due to disrepair, and by developing a framework of policies and funded programs to prevent the loss of low-income housing and the displacement of low-income tenants.