This week’s question: The Ontario government announced last week that it is taking action to make housing more affordable for home buyers and renters while more than 170,000 are on the waiting list for subsidized housing in Toronto.
Do you believe that the governments – federal, provincial and municipal – are doing enough to deal with the housing crisis in Toronto?
Yes I should think so because in seventeen years here in Canada, I was able to buy myself a house. When my wife passed away, I was living in a big place and I needed subsidized housing. I applied and I was asked to fax over documents to let them know about my situation. I feel optimistic they will be able to find me a new place soon. I’m just waiting for the papers to go through.
No, I definitely do not think so. I see the Toronto housing system a lot like a furnace. They constantly seem to be trying to repair and fix the body of the furnace but they actually need to change it. The decision-makers are always trying to add onto the system they have in place, making adjustments to try and improve it but the system itself no longer works. So they need to change the system which they have now. It is especially hard for minorities in the community.
So far it doesn’t seem to be working properly. I think they could do a little more. There is a population that is in need of housing They aren’t getting anything. They are not being taken care of. I would imagine the government should put in more of an effort to find funds to build more houses. I don’t there are enough resources to address the situation.
In general, no. They are not doing enough. There’s a lot of buildings that are not properly maintained and running down. A lot of the subsidized housing is being provided to newcomers, which they need. But that means that other people still have to keep waiting while the newcomers are getting better opportunities and jobs than the others. There are still too many people in need.
Personal Support Worker
Society of St. Vincent De Paul
Probably not. There are a lot of buildings in Toronto that are not suitable for living and a lot that of them should be condemned or shut down because the quality of housing is so poor. The system seems to be built to keep people in low income, to stay in low income housing situations. The conditions in some of these places are completely unlivable.
Personal Support Worker
Toronto Community Housing (TCHC)
I work at TCHC. So no, I don’t think so. I don’t know all the things they can do to improve but there are some things I’ve seen from my experience working there for about twelve years, In the last five, a lot of housing has gone to the mentally ill who are unable to maintain the apartments -which means additional workers have to come in to clean it for them. They are funneling resources into that when they should look for group facilities for them and provide housing for those who are able to maintain it.