Tag Archives: Toronto City Council

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

Who voted for new union contracts

Toronto city council approved new deals two unions
Here’s how each politician voted
By Kris Scheuer

The strike is over after city council approved new contracts for CUPE locals 416 and 79.
The final vote was a close one at 21-17 in a heated debate on July 31.
Want to know how every politician voted? Continue reading

Strike could end Friday

Labour unrest may end tomorrow and workers return July 31
CUPE local 79 has voted for contract, local 416 to decide today
By Kris Scheuer

Garbage workers may be back on the job as soon as tomorrow.
Around midnight Thursday, CUPE local 416 president Mark Ferguson released a statement that the final details on a tentative deal had been hammered out.
As well, sticking points on back to work protocol including allowing striking garbage collectors to help with the massive clean-up have been ironed out.
This union will hold a vote for members today between 10-6 to ratify the city’s three-contract offer.
“The last two days have been grueling and necessary to ensure our members return to work with collective agreement protection,” said Ferguson in a July 30 statement released after midnight. Continue reading