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Brick by Brick: Building An Affordable Housing Plan for Toronto


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This presentation offers critical insights on how to build an effective affordable housing plan for Toronto.

Michael Shapcott, Director of Housing and Innovation
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Brick by Brick: Building An Affordable Housing Plan for Toronto

  1. 1. Brick by brick: Building an affordable housing plan for TorontoMichael ShapcottThe Wellesley InstituteWCOHH, June 2012
  2. 2. People and places to celebrate
  3. 3. YWCA Elm Centre
  4. 4. Toronto 1911: Founding ofWellesley Hospital
  5. 5. Sprucecourt Apts 1914 s m nto lu i s d to me es on or om or sf h T an d r oo t g
  6. 6. GenuineCanadianhero John Peters Humphreys
  7. 7. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Article 111. The States Parties to the present Covenantrecognize the right of everyone to an adequatestandard of living for himself and his family,including adequate food, clothing and housing, andto the continuous improvement of living conditions.The States Parties will take appropriate steps toensure the realization of this right, recognizing tothis effect the essential importance of internationalco-operation based on free consent.
  8. 8. 31st October 1945.  MACKAY J.:—This is an application broughtby Drummond Wren... to have declared invalid a restrictivecovenant... namely, ‘Land not to be sold to Jews or persons ofobjectionable nationality.’... First and of profound significance is the recent San FranciscoCharter, to which Canada was a signatory, and which theDominion Parliament has now ratified. Under articles 1 and 55 ofthis Charter, Canada is pledged to promote ‘universal respect for,and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms forall without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.’...   An order will therefore go declaring that the restrictivecovenant attacked by the applicant is void and of no effect.
  9. 9. Toronto - 1970 Below middle Middle income Upper incomeThe Three Cities - David Hulchanski, U of T
  10. 10. Toronto - 2005 Below middle Middle income Upper incomeThe Three Cities - David Hulchanski, U of T
  11. 11. Inequality / precarious housing is driving poor health Toronto Health Profiles
  12. 12. TO affordable housing wait list 821385000# 08 8 e 20 si nc80000# 2 3% Up75000#70000# 63 79165000#60000# 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 December 2011: 82,138 households on wait list; 280 housed - 24 year wait
  13. 13. Bad housing makes you sick! Homelessness: Increased morbidity Increased premature morality Contextual: Individual / neighbourhood deprivation networks / friends / crime Biological / physical: Chemicals, gases, pollutants Socio-economic: Design (accidents) / crowding Affordability / energyTransportation / income / jobs Mental health: Alarming rates... especially Clinical depression and anxiety Control / meaning Collective efficacy
  14. 14. Good housing good for health! Physical and mental health: Better health outcomes / decreased health care utilization Environment / physical infrastructure: New housing, repairs, heating, noise, indoor + outdoor environmental issues, allergens, water + sanitation Community safety: Reduced recidivism among people leaving incarceration Affordability interventions: Income-based housing subsidies
  15. 15. “Yes, there are poor people in the world, okay, butpoor people will be with us forever, like it’s been Agree?from the moment of time. I think sometimes youhave to have tough love, not because you hatepeople but because they need the support. Peopleshould get lessons in budgeting, lessons innutrition..., lessons in parenting. Kids have children,okay, who don’t know how to parent... I didn’t tellyou to wear a condom or not wear acondom or how many children, youmade that decision.” Cllr. Mike Del Grande Toronto Budget Chief
  16. 16. “After 20 years of continuous decline, both inequality andpoverty rates have increased rapidly in the past 10 years, now reaching levels above the OECD average.” OECD (2008), Growing Unequal? : Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries
  17. 17. qualityIne
  18. 18. Selected policy recommendations for OECDcountries from Divided We Stand• Reforming tax and benefit policies is the most direct instrument for increasing redistributive effects. Large and persistent losses in low-income groups following recessions underline the importance of government transfers and well-conceived income-support policies.• The growing share of income going to top earners means that this group now has a greater capacity to pay taxes. In this context governments may re- examine the redistributive role of taxation to ensure that wealthier individuals contribute their fair share of the tax burden.
  19. 19. ‘Social spending in Canada relies more on public services (education, housing, health, etc.) than on cash transfers, such as unemployment and family benefits.’ OECD, 2011
  20. 20. d pr ivate uali ty an 95% ofIneq mar kets Cana dians hou sing each home s in p live i n out or r owne rivate rea sing rshipinc renta l mar kets /
  21. 21. d pr ivate uali ty anIneq mar kets hou sing each out or r rea singinc Typical two-bedroom apt: $44,920 household income CMHCEntry level condominium:$70,600 household income RBC Economics, August 2011 20% of households have annual income <$18,000 50% of households have annual income <$41,000 MMAH
  22. 22. For renters, average market rents areoutpacing renter household incomes
  23. 23. Four observations:1. Housing insecurity deep / persistent2. Costly to people, communities, economy, government3. Federal housing / homelessness investments eroding4. No comprehensive national plan
  24. 24. Mosthousing needsinvisible
  25. 25. Ongoing erosion of federal housing investments(Federal housing investments as a percentage of GDP) 1.20% 1.10% 1.00% 0.90% 0.80% 0.70% 0.60% 0.50% 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Follow the money...
  26. 26. 2011 federal spending estimates 2010 2011 Change Assisted $1.722b $1.628b 5% cut housing On-reserve $215m $156m 27% cut Repair $674m $37m 94% cut AHI $452m $16m 97% cut Overall $3.131b $1.907b 39% cut ‘Scheduled termination’
  27. 27. Looking ahead -more federal cuts
  28. 28. Ontario housing spending decliningMunicipal housing spending increasing
  29. 29. Toronto Shelter, Support, Housing - 2012 budget 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014Gross $797m $834m $869m $786m $792m $799mNet $263m $274m $291m $269m $295m $300mFed $192m $187m $181m $179m $179m $179m ON $177m $372m $341m $285m $287m $288m
  30. 30. Aff ply p ordS u a bili ty a ir r tsp po e up R S
  31. 31. ‘Naming and shaming’ at UN HRC
  32. 32. Miloon Kothari, former UN Rapporteur on Right to Adequate Housing ‘Housing is a human right’
  33. 33. UN Special Rapporteur, 2009 “Canada has a long and proud history of housing successes, and has been known around the world for its innovative housing solutions. The Special Rapporteur visited and received information about programmes, laws and policies that represent good practices... Canada can also rely on a tremendous range of academic and civil society resources.” !“There has been a significant erosion of housing rights over the past two decades. Canada’s successful social housing programme, which created more than half amillion homes starting in 1973, has been discontinued.
  34. 34. Canada officially accepted UPR recommendations on housing and homelessness“Canada accepts recommendations 47 and 48. Canada isworking to improve housing choice and affordability.Governments are making substantial investments in housingthrough programs targeting affordability, housing renovation,homelessness and support for existing social housing units.Addressing Aboriginal housing issues on reserve remains apriority. Canada provides support through programs targetingthe construction of new housing units, the renovation of existinghousing stock, and subsidies for existing rental housing. Since2006, new funding for Aboriginal people has been dedicated toresolving challenges of poverty and housing.”
  35. 35. Toronto Shelter, Support, Housing - 2013 budget (???) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014Gross $797m $834m $869m $786m $792m $799mNet $263m $274m $291m $269m $295m $300mFed $192m $187m $181m $179m $179m $179m ON $177m $372m $341m $285m $287m $288m
  36. 36. www.wellesleyinstitute.comThank you!