TORONTO – Olivia Chow will strengthen the City’s approach to lifting people out of homelessness and keeping people housed.
Chow announces more support for people who need it most
“Toronto’s housing crisis isn't just about finding a home, it's about what happens when you lose one too. So many people are only a few paycheques away from losing their home. When that happens, they need a caring place to get the basics like a shower or a safe place to sleep. We can do better to make sure people aren’t stuck out in the cold, we can connect people to services and help them stay housed,” said Chow.
There are over 10,000 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto and with our housing crisis thousands are becoming unhoused. To begin urgently addressing this crisis Chow will:
- Create 1,000 new rent supplements to help people secure permanent housing - and ask the provincial and federal governments to match our investment to create 3,000 total new supplements.
- Create new 24/7 respite spaces, where people can access a shower, meals, a bed, and access resources and critical services.
- Create a new fund to expand services, and let the community lead by working with community agencies, front-line workers and people with lived experience to determine how best to use it.
“Unhoused people deserve dignity. The City’s approach of pushing unhoused people around from parks to transit, to libraries, and back has been shameful. We urgently need to provide people with places to go that are safe and have supports available to keep people housed,” said Chow.
Today’s announcement is another piece of Chow’s comprehensive housing plan, which includes preventing the loss of thousands of units of affordable rental housing, investments in eviction prevention, and building 25,000 city-owned rental units that include deeply affordable homes. Her broader plan helps prevent homelessness and keep people housed by:
- Doubling the reach of Toronto’s Rent Bank
- Tripling the reach of the Eviction Prevention in the Community program
- Establishing the Secure Affordable Homes fund, a $100 million annual investment to stop renovictions by helping purchase affordable units and transfer them to not-for-profit housing providers
- Scaling up the Toronto Tenant Support Program to fight evictions
- Establishing the Renters Action Committee to give renters power at City Hall, it will create a strong anti-renovictions by-law and advocating for real rent control
- Give RentSafeTO real teeth by investing in more by-law enforcement officers and staff to make sure people have healthy and safe living conditions
- Building 25,000 units of rent-controlled housing, with at minimum 7,500 affordable units, including at least 2,500 rent-geared-to-income units
Chow will advocate for provincial and federal governments to match her investment. However, Chow will not stand by if other levels of government drag their feet. Homelessness is an emergency in Toronto. She will fund these programs by asking the wealthiest to chip in more through a luxury homes tax: she will raise the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on luxury homes, with new graduated rates on purchases of homes valued at over $3 million. This new luxury homes tax takes place on less than 2% of home sales each year and allows the city to help make sure thousands more have a place to call home.
Chow’s plan includes:
- $14.6 million for rent supplements to help 1,000 households experiencing homelessness exit the shelter system and find stable, deeply affordable housing. Olivia will advocate for the provincial and federal governments to match her plan and create permanent homes for 3,000 households.
- $5 million to increase the number of 24/7 low-barrier, walk-in respite and women’s drop in spaces to make sure people have a warm place to go in the winter and a cool place in the summer, alongside supports and connections to critical services.
- $5 million to work in partnership with community agencies, housing organizations, and people with lived experience, to expand street outreach, wrap-around support services, drop-in programming, and additional shelter options.
The Municipal Land Transfer Tax has not been updated in years. We will add an extra one percent on homes purchased for $3 million, and another one percent for each subsequent bracket. These homes represent only 2% of homes sold.
As applied to past 3 year
annual average (2020-2022)