Toronto’s affordable housing wait list was 87,303 households at the end of January, 2013 – a total of 161,266 women, men and children in low-income households and qualified for affordable housing. That’s an increase of 5.7% from the 82,610 households on the wait list in January, 2012. The January 2013 total is a tiny decrease from the 87,486 households on the wait list in December 2012. One reason for the decrease is that Toronto Housing Connections removed 1,117 households from the wait list in January after declaring them ‘inactivated’ – which means that TCH has lost contact with the households.
Toronto Housing Connections has a powerful video on its home page produced by People Power Media that provides an insight into the struggles facing people on the housing wait list. Access to affordable housing is one of the most important social determinants of health – andpeople who are homeless experience serious health issues and premature death. The Wellesley Institute’s Precarious Housing in Canadadocuments the erosion of housing funding at the federal and provincial levels.
In its 2013 municipal budget, Toronto approved a 50% reduction in spending on new affordable housing as a result of sharp funding cuts from the federal and provincial governments. Fewer new affordable homes means less options for people on the wait list.