Tag Archives: affordable housing

Millions to fix up social housing

$220 million will be spent on repairs, upgrades
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 1 for Town Crier.)

Workers strip old bathroom tiles from a Toronto Community Housing unit during a recent renovation. Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Toronto social and affordable housing complexes are getting a $220 million facelift over the next two years.
The province and feds are pumping this cash into renovations and retrofits which means everything from new toilets, lighting and fridges to repairs of decks, garages and elevators for thousands of Toronto tenants.
“It certainly helps (to reduce) the state of good repair backlog and helps buildings stay in good repair,” says Glenn Courtney, city manager of social housing administration. “And it provides better living conditions for tenants in these buildings.”
During the first phase, between now and March 2010, the city will spend $98.5 million for 1,217 projects.
The money is spread out among 139 Toronto housing providers but the lion’s share of this cash, $68.3 million is going to the city’s Toronto Community Housing. Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 3

My observations about the city I call home
By Kris Scheuer

Here are three things I learned, heard, was told or observed about Toronto in the last 48 hours.

HOUSING
The city is possibly on the verge of getting$200 mil in stimulus funding from the province and feds for new affordable housing. I interviewed Sean Gadon, director of the city’s Affordable Housing Office yesterday. By Sept. 30 council will have voted and submitted a short list of projects for about 1,500-2000 units of new housing worth about $200 mil.
The city is also applying for a portion of the $704 mil senior levls of government are handing out to repair existing social housing. Again the city is seeking about $200 mil and should here next week. If the city gets the cash, it will help with the current backlog of $200-250 mil to fix Toronto’s social housing. Continue reading

City approves affordable housing plan

New units, fixing old ones, rent subsidies to help those in need
Plan calls for additional $484 million annually for housing
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written May 27/09 for Town Crier. This plan passed at council Aug. 7)

Heather Cunningham has lived in mental health facilities, shelters, detox centres and under bridges.
The formerly homeless 25-year-old is currently on the city’s affordable housing waiting list, along with 66,000 others.
Meanwhile, she’s paying full market value for an apartment in a 12-storey building in the east end. She’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lives on $1,099 a month from the Ontario Disability Support Program. Her rent gobbles up $850 of that and would eat her out of house and home if not for the help of her mother, who foots half the bill.
“My mom wanted to take a year off work but can’t because she’s helping me out,” said Cunningham, who’s been on the subsidized-housing waiting list for three years. “I’d have to go to the food bank if my mom didn’t help me. I’d be in poverty.”
Cunningham’s not looking for social housing but rather a rent subsidy to lower the cost of staying in her current apartment.
She’s one of almost 250,000 people the city plans to help with its 10-year Affordable Housing Action Plan, which still needs a nod from city council. (It was approved Aug. 7)
“We are proposing to help (the) one-fifth of Toronto residents … in need of housing help,” said Sean Gadon, director of the city’s Affordable Housing Office. “Over the 10-year plan, we hope to help 50 percent of those households.” Continue reading