Toronto City Council’s Executive Committee will consider a detailed financing plan at its March 20, 2013, meeting to generate $94 million in funding as part of a long-term strategy to restore financial stability to Toronto Community Housing Corporation. The plan would inject much-needed dollars into long-overdue capital repairs. The financing plan is good news for TCHC tenants, and good news for all of Toronto, and builds on the proposals from the 2012 special task force chaired by Councillor Ana Bailao.
TCHC is home to 164,000 low and moderate-income tenants – including a number of frail and vulnerable people. The Wellesley Institute’s research and policy work demonstrates that a safe, healthy and affordable home is fundamental to the health of individuals, and the population and economic health of communities.
Following a purge of the board and senior management of TCHC two years ago, a scheme emerged to sell-off 900+ scattered-site homes, and use the proceeds to finance much-needed and long overdue repairs to the housing manager’s 2,215 buildings. The Wellesley Institute opposed the plans for the massive sell-off as the waiting list for affordable housing in the city was setting new records every month. Currently, there are 161,602 people on the wait list.
We joined with TCHC tenants and an informal network of housing and service providers and community leaders in calling for a comprehensive plan to stabilize TCHC and generate the funds necessary for the repairs. Our research and policy work set out practical options and we supported the work of the Bailao task force, created by Toronto City Council to set out a practical strategy.
The financing deal that goes before Executive on March 20 includes a refinancing of TCHC mortgages and access to new funding from Infrastructure Ontario.