By Emily Mathieu Affordable Housing Reporter Tues., May 14, 2019 Twelve names have been added to the Toronto Homeless Memorial, tacked to the end of a list now 966 names long and posted outside of the Church of the Holy Trinity. “This is unprecedented and it keeps getting worse,” said memorial volunteer Rayna Slobodian of the city’s homelessness crisis. She spoke with the Star Tuesday after calling out the names, which included eight men and four women who died over the last three months. She said it was the longest list she can remember at a single memorial since she started volunteering in 2015. The physical memorial was created in 2001 and includes names going back to the mid 1980s. Slobodian last year created an online version of the memorial where photos and stories can also be shared. Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government, she said, has chosen to prioritize spending on gambling projects and loosening rules around public … [Read more...] about Twelve names added to Toronto homeless memorial
Affordable housing crisis
By Tess Kalinowski Real Estate Reporter Sun., May 12, 2019 Scarce and precarious. Toronto’s rental situation constitutes a state of emergency for frontline housing workers. But policy researcher Jeremy Withers says he is more angry than discouraged. A housing policy researcher, who is working on his PhD, Withers said other cities are doing a better job of creating affordable homes using policies like inclusionary zoning and non-profit ownership of buildings that would otherwise be bought up by predatory landlords. He helped organize a conference Saturday by the University of Toronto School of Cities designed to set the stage around the city’s next-decade housing policy called HousingTO 2020-2030, an action plan being formulated this year. The event was also about mobilizing activism, he said. It’s “an important moment” at the beginning of a new term of city council, for housing activists to grab the attention of new councillors … [Read more...] about Frontline housing workers feel squeeze of high rents, evictions
WASHINGTON: The US House on Friday (May 10) approved US$19.1 billion in disaster relief to help hard-hit communities like Puerto Rico, but President Donald Trump opposes the package which faces party bickering over funding.On the eve of the vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber, Trump urged Republicans to reject the "BAD DEMOCRAT Disaster Supplemental Bill" and continue negotiating on the emergency package aimed at providing recovery assistance to Americans affected by storms, wildfires and floods.But in a rebuke of Trump, 34 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure, which cleared the House of Representatives 257-150.At a Florida rally on Thursday, Trump wrongly said Puerto Rico, a US territory, had already received US$91 billion in disaster aid in the wake of deadly 2017 hurricanes that devastated the island.Puerto Rico has been promised about half that amount and spent just US$11 billion, according to a Washington Post fact check.House Appropriations … [Read more...] about House passes US$19.1 billion disaster relief, Trump opposed
By Emily Mathieu Affordable Housing Reporter Tues., April 30, 2019 Toronto is in the thick of a global housing crisis and human rights and dignity must be put before dollars if the city is to have any hope of an equitable and prosperous future. That message was delivered by Leilani Farha, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to housing, to the city’s planning and housing committee on Tuesday morning. “Worldwide it is now accepted and understood that there is a global housing crisis and I would say Toronto is in the thick of it,” said Farha, in Toronto for the release of Push, a documentary film in which she explores how global pools of capital have fuelled the housing crisis. The film is at HotDocs until May 4. “This visible homelessness on the streets is unacceptable in a rich country and a rich city like Toronto. The skyscrapers going up that are clearly not intended for the people who are in housing need and are clearly … [Read more...] about Homelessness ‘unacceptable’ in a rich city like Toronto, UN official says
By Brian Lee Crowley Justin Mohammed Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 Are the federal Liberals right to make it more difficult for immigrants and refugees to enter Canada from the United States? Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, argues Yes, while Justin Mohammed, a human rights law and policy campaigner at Amnesty International, argues No. Yes, Canada would be right to tighten its borders, particularly with respect to those who have been entering Canada illegally. Unfortunately, while the government is making noises that it wants to do so, there is little evidence that those measures will be effective. Let’s begin with why it would make sense to toughen border controls. Canada’s highly successful postwar immigration policy, supported by an all-party political consensus and public opinion, has never been laissez-faire about who gets in. On the contrary. That admirable policy has always been premised on the idea that … [Read more...] about Is Canada right to tighten its border?