235,000 Canadians Become Homeless Every Year

According to an annual study released recently by researchers from York University and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 235,000 Canadians find themselves homeless each year, at a cost of $7 billion to the economy. One of the key factors contributing to the issue, suggests the State of Homelessness in Canada report, is a limited supply of affordable housing units.

Recognizing that residents who reach their full potential through happy, healthy lifestyles contribute to the long-term prosperity of our region, Greater Toronto Realtors are deeply committed to fostering opportunities all along the housing continuum, including those that relate to affordable housing.
In support of National Housing Day on November 21st the Toronto Real Estate Board in cooperation with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area, the City of Toronto Affordable Housing Office, and Evergreen City Works brought together a panel of experts for a discussion that took a fresh look at affordable housing issues.
Held at Scadding Court Community Centre, the event began with a community breakfast and culminated with a tour of Alexandra Park’s revitalization project, which is undergoing a large-scale revitalization effort that will include bringing 1,540 new market units, 5,700 metres of retail space and improved pedestrian areas to the neighbourhood. An initiative spearheaded by Toronto Community Housing Corporation and Tridel, it illustrates the successful outcomes that can be achieved when partnerships to develop affordable housing solutions are formed between government, private enterprise and community residents.
Habitat for Humanity GTA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ene Underwood moderated the exchange of ideas between panelists Greg Spearn, Interim President and CEO of TCHC, Sean Gadon, Director of the City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office, Joe Vaccarro CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, and Steve Rohacek, Senior Vice President of Municipal Business Development and Lending for Infrastructure Ontario.
The discussion, which focused on the innovation, partnerships and political leadership needed to facilitate affordable housing solutions, generated thought-provoking ideas and information. From new materials that make construction more cost-effective to ideas for greater cohesiveness among social housing organizations, panellists shared their thoughts on how to create more affordable housing opportunities within our city.
One sentiment that rang clear was the need for all levels of government to take ownership of the issue and work together towards solutions. Similarly, it was agreed that more opportunities to streamline regulations and to develop partnerships with private enterprise are needed.
Equally important is the central role that local residents play in revitalization efforts because by engaging stakeholders in the community to guide the process, developers can invest properly in the lives and future of people at the heart of affordable housing communities. Shared space for start-up businesses and community birthing facilities are just two examples of how revitalization efforts can contribute to a healthy economy while serving the needs of the community.
While Greater Toronto Realtors focus their efforts on bringing shelter to the people of our city, there are countless opportunities for you to make your mark in building a better GTA, and I encourage you to pursue them.
Source: Torontosun

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Ishtiaq Ahmed

Ishtiaq Ahmed

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CENTURY 21 Innovative Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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