Toronto’s affordable housing wait list set yet another record in November: 87,638 households or 161,866 women, men and children. The city’s wait list has been setting a new record, month after month, since the recession of 2008. The November numbers are up a staggering 27% in one year from 2011 and up 69% since the start of the recession in September of 2008. Toronto Housing Connections reports that the number of households with urgent housing needs (such as women seeking to flee violence and people who are homeless) has jumped by 17% over the past year from 228 in November 2011 to 267 in November of 2012. The number of seniors’ households on the list grew by 24% over the past year to 25,591 in November of 2012.
The long and growing wait list for an affordable place to call home comes as Toronto City Council is considering a 2013 municipal budget that makes deep cuts to housing and homelessness funding. Among the cuts being proposed is a 51% cut in funding for new affordable housing – down from$49 million in 2012 to $24 million in 2013. All the funding for new affordable housing in Toronto comes from federal and provincial government grants, which are being cut. The city does not contribute any funding to the development of new affordable housing. The big cut in affordable housing funding means that Toronto will not meet its own modest targets for new affordable housing as set out in its Housing Opportunities Torontoplan - and it also means that the recording-breaking wait lists are set to get longer and longer.
For more on the federal cuts to affordable housing investments, see the Wellesley Institute’s backgrounder on the latest housing numbers from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and also the Wellesley Institute’s formal submission to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review of Canada’s international housing rights obligations.
For more on provincial cuts to housing and homelessness investments, see the Wellesley Institute’s backgrounder on $22 million in provincial cuts and also the Wellesley Institute’s health equity impact assessment of provincial cuts to the Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit.