Housing as a Human Right @CheriDiNovo

The following post has been re-blogged from The West Side Story.

Thank you Cheri DiNovo, MP for Parkdale-High Park for writing this and bringing this important issue to the forefront.

Housing as a Human RightHousing should be a human right. It would surprise many to know it costs more per night – way more – to keep someone homeless than to build affordable housing. The difference is that affordable housing takes a serious financial commitment up front, whereas shelter costs, emergency room visits, police interventions etc. fall under operating budgets.

In Parkdale, some years back, we spent weeks visioning for our west-end neighbourhoods, and one single theme emerged: housing is becoming too expensive, and more and more of our families are paying 50% or more of their take-home pay for shelter.

Housing is the single largest determinant of poverty and health. No housing, no job is how it usually pans out. No housing, poor health, including the rise of Charles-Dickens-era diseases like TB, which once were thought to be eradicated. With the average house price in our area around the million-dollar mark, it’s clear even the children of middle-class families will have to inherit to own one.

Here’s the point: building affordable housing actually creates jobs and ultimately saves money. We also have tax-free ways of providing homes, such as Inclusionary Zoning, used around the world and across the US. Inclusionary Zoning would allow cities to require large developers to set aside a percentage of their new builds as affordable, either rental or rent-to-own. Toronto can’t do that now, unless the Province changes the Planning Act.

Whatever way it happens—new builds, rental supports and controls, or inclusionary zoning—Toronto, and we in the west end, need action.

Learn more here.


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