November 22, 2016
The City of Toronto and the GTA Housing Action Lab marked National Housing Day today by recognizing the individuals and organizations that play such a vital role creating safe, secure and affordable housing, as well as those who advocated for a national housing strategy.
The two organizations hosted a luncheon for about 100 affordable housing stakeholders at Church of the Holy Trinity. Participants focused on what they expected from the federal government's coming national housing strategy.
"It takes partnerships big and small to successfully build affordable housing and that is what we are celebrating today," said Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), Toronto's Housing Advocate. "We are fortunate in this city to have so many strong, committed partners who work tirelessly to build or advocate for affordable and social housing."
"We are seeing governments at all levels signal a shared purpose to address housing affordability," said Robert Plitt, Executive Director of Evergreen CityWorks and Housing Action Lab spokesperson. "At the same time, we are seeing partners from the private and not-for-profit sector working together to innovate with government to further these goals."
Councillor Bailão praised participants in the City's successful campaign to persuade the federal and provincial governments to step up with more funding and legislative support for affordable and social housing.
Ottawa has increased funding and begun the process to create a national housing strategy while Queen's Park has also committed more funding and is providing municipalities with inclusionary zoning powers. As well, more housing and homelessness funding is expected in the 2017 federal budget through the Social Infrastructure Fund.
Since 2000, the Government of Canada has designated November 22 National Housing Day to celebrate housing partnerships that contribute to the social and economic health of Canadians. To mark this year's event, Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, released details of public input received during consultations on a national housing strategy.
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