FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ari Goldkind releases Toronto is Your House housing and homelessness platform/policy paper
TORONTO – OCTOBER 20, 2014
Mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind today launched a platform that addresses the critical shortage of affordable housing, the dire conditions faced by many in current social housing, and the issue of homeless residents in Toronto. Branded Toronto Is Your House it consists of a 12-point integrated strategic plan, with an investment of between $1.1 billion and $1.6 billion over four years, depending on the levels of support from other levels of government and community business partnerships. The plan will:
- Leverage existing space and resources to immediately decrease the shortage of affordable units.
- Use inclusionary zoning and Section 37 as an incentive to developers to offer more affordable units and reduce gentrification.
- Comprehensively tackle the Toronto Community Housing repair backlog that, without immediate attention, will be the size of the city’s annual police budget within two years. This project will start by hiring skilled workers who live in TCHC communities to work on repairs in their own units & buildings.
- Facilitate new cooperative/condominium ownership models that will allow TCHC residents to have a real stake in their homes and an incentive to be part of physical building need and community solutions.
- Increase the city’s stock of new rental housing units, with a focus on integration with new transit builds that make new housing construction more desirable.
- Lead to more equitable distribution of affordable housing instead of ghettoizing large parts of Toronto.
- Incentivize single-family homeowners in an aging city to offer more affordable units, particularly for families.
- Expand micro-housing such as single-room occupancy and dormitory-style units, through pilot projects in priority neighbourhoods that will provide housing to our most vulnerable residents.
- Improve access to mental health and addiction services in the city’s shelter system.
- Re-evaluate the pace at which Build Toronto and TCHC are selling off city assets to private developers, and compromising our land asset base for new affordable housing.
- Engage other levels of government — provincial, federal and our peers in other GTA municipalities — in a discussion that leads to constructive outcomes rather than more reports gathering dust.
- Do the city’s part to address the real elephant in the housing room — that real incomes are static or even falling relative to inflation, while rents are rising every year.
The reality of wait list applicants
“Cranes in the sky is a hollow and even cruel statement to make when there are so many people on the ground who don’t even have a roof over their heads they can truly afford, or even a roof over their head at all,” says Goldkind. “Right now, we have 90,000 people on the waiting list for affordable housing, which is close to double the number of units operated by Toronto Community Housing.”
Goldkind points out this number – 90,000 – represents individual waiting list applicants and does not include their families. The total number of people on the list is over 170,000 which is THREE times the number of units TCHC currently operates. “The City of Toronto is the second-largest landlord in North America, and we are failing our residents when it comes to this most basic of needs. There are also over 5,000 people living on the streets, with a winter that is going to be as harsh as last year’s was. To me that is nothing less than a civic shame.”
Goldkind believes his skill as a negotiator, his openness with Torontonians about the dire need to raise new revnue, and his many years of working to assist people in creating better lives for themselves and their communities makes him uniquely qualified to drive this plan and to solicit cooperation from the private sector as well as from all three levels of government.
The full plan can be reviewed at: http://ariformayor.com/position-paper-housing/
To speak to Mr. Goldkind for comment:
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