Housing, Homelessness and the City Budget Beth Wilson, Social Planning Toronto November 24, 2011
Overview of the City of Toronto’s role in the area of housing and homelessness What’s been cut, what’s at risk The 2012 budget process and you
Housing and homelessness: What does the City do? City Divisions • Affordable Housing Office • Municipal Licensing and Standards • Long-Term Care Homes and Services • Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Accountability Officers • Office of the Ombudsman Funding to Nonprofit Community Organizations • Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Corporations (ABCCs) • Toronto Community Housing Corporation
What’s been cut 2011 City Budget Cuts • Cut of $100,000 to the Tenant Defense Fund. Council voted to cut $75,000 from tenant support services, currently delivered by the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, and $25,000 from the fund. Councillor Davis’ motion to restore $75,000 to this program failed by 1 vote, 22-23.
$225,000 net savings estimated from “alternate models of shelter service” delivery – “An alternative shelter model will be used for single clients who are reasonably self sufficient (such as refugee claimants). Clients who require minimal case management and do not require 24 hour supports will be accommodated using motel and furnished apartments as a means to provide less costly service, and estimated savings of $0.225 million net.”
Cuts to the Ombudsman’s Office. Councillor Matlow’s motions to reverse the 5% cut to the Ombudsman’s Office and add two new positions failed by a wide margin, 18-27 for both motions. The Ombudsman stated that, if the 5% cut was maintained and her request for two new positions was not granted, it would constitute a major service cut.
A reduction in nearly 35,000 bed nights in family shelters – 2.4% cut to budget for shelter bed nights. • All divisions directed to make budget cuts.
What’s at risk • Most everything not provincially mandated is on the table Identified targets: • Affordable Housing Office • Long Term Care Homes • Funding for services delivered by nonprofit community agencies (CPIP) • Divisions/departments directed to make 10% cuts
Meanwhile … • Over 70% of residents in core service review survey said “increasing affordable housing” and “shelter, support and housing for homeless and low-income” are core services – necessary for the city
Threats to TCHC tenant homes • Following the recommendation of Case Ootes, one-man TCHC board, City Council voted to sell off 22 TCHC homes • Provincial ministerial approval required before sale of many of these homes • New TCHC board (minus 2 tenant reps) recommends the sell-off of another 700+ TCHC homes, affecting more than 1,000 tenant households • Decisions go to City’s Executive Committee then City Council in new year, provincial ministerial approval needed for sell off of great majority of homes
City Budget Process November 28: Proposed budget is released December 2, 5, 6: Budget committee meets December 7, possibly 8: Public hearings on the budget – have your say! December 9, 13, January 9: Budget committee meets, votes on budget recommendations January 12: Executive Committee votes on budget recommendations January 17-19: City Council reviews, debates and votes on final budget Community Budget Meetings – Find Out What’s in the Budget, What It Means for Your Community November 29: North Etobicoke community budget forum – evening November 30: South Etobicoke community budget forum - evening December 1: Downtown budget forum – morning December 3: Respect Scarborough – Public Forum on Budget Impacts – afternoon
Speak out for city services! • Register to speak at the Budget Committee’s public hearing. The public hearing starts on Wednesday, December 7 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Committee Room 1. They plan to go to 9:30 p.m. and continue deputations on December 8 at 9:30 a.m. if there are more speakers. • Register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-392-7340 with your name and address. • Contact your City Councillor to share your views. Call 311 for contact info. • Send written submissions to email@example.com if you cannot make it to the public hearing. • Sign the petition to save the Hardship Fund! http://togethertoronto.ca/campaigns/hardshipfund/
Thank you! • Beth Wilson Senior Researcher Social Planning Toronto www.socialplanningtoronto.org firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 351-0095 x257