Item - 2022.EX32.6

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on May 11, 2022 without amendments.
  • This item was considered by Executive Committee on May 4, 2022 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on May 11, 2022.

EX32.6 - Intergovernmental Partnerships and Advocacy Efforts to Advance the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on May 11 and 12, 2022, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council authorize the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to enter into and execute any agreements, including any amendments and extension of such agreements, with the Province of Ontario for funding to support the City’s delivery of supportive housing units on terms and conditions satisfactory to the City Manager, and in a form satisfactory to the City Solicitor.

 

2. City Council request the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to support the City's 2023-2024 Housing Recovery and Resilience Plan outlined in the report (April 20, 2022) from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and the General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration to deliver 4,000 additional affordable rental and supportive homes by end of 2024, composed of:

 

a. 2,500 supportive housing opportunities through acquisitions, modular housing, re-purposing existing stock and investments in operating costs for support services; and

 

b. 1,500 affordable housing through housing benefits (including the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit).

 

3. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to fully fund the amount needed, as outlined in the 2022 Operating Budget, to address COVID-19 related financial impacts including in shelters and to provide support services for people moving out of  homelessness to permanent housing.

 

4. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Province of Ontario to provide $7 billion in outstanding capital and operating funding by 2030, to support delivery of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and allocate funds collected from Toronto through the Non-resident Speculation Tax, to the City of Toronto as one funding tool to help partially fund this outstanding commitment.

 

5. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Government of Canada to provide $6.5 billion in outstanding capital and operating funding by 2030, to support delivery of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and to allocate funds collected from Toronto through the Underused Housing Tax, to the City of Toronto as one funding tool to help partially fund this outstanding commitment.

 

6. City Council re-iterate its request to the Province of Ontario to address the adequacy and structure of social assistance by implementing a new standard flat rate structure for both the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program that:

 

a. uses a data-informed and evidence-based approach to annual social assistance rate increases, equalizes the benefit rate across the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, and better supports recipients to meet their basic needs, including the cost of housing; and

 

b. equalizes the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rent scales paid to Torontonians living in social housing with the housing benefit paid to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients living in private market rentals.

Background Information (Committee)

(April 20, 2022) Report and Attachment 1 from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on Intergovernmental Partnerships and Advocacy Efforts to Advance the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-224837.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(May 4, 2022) Letter from Mayor John Tory (EX.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ex/comm/communicationfile-149656.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Gord Perks (Lost)

That:

 

1. City Council condemn the Province of Ontario for its lack of action to end homelessness.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) May-11-2022 11:32 AM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX32.6 - Perks - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 5 Members that voted Yes are Shelley Carroll, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Gord Perks
Total members that voted No: 14 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Nick Mantas, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michael Ford, Cynthia Lai, Josh Matlow, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

EX32.6 - Intergovernmental Partnerships and Advocacy Efforts to Advance the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Executive Committee recommends that:  

 

1. City Council authorize the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to enter into and execute any agreements, including any amendments and extension of such agreements, with the Province of Ontario for funding to support the City’s delivery of supportive housing units on terms and conditions satisfactory to the City Manager, and in a form satisfactory to the City Solicitor.

 

2. City Council request the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to support the City's 2023-2024 Housing Recovery and Resilience Plan outlined in this report, to deliver 4,000 additional affordable rental and supportive homes by end of 2024, composed of:

 

a. 2,500 supportive housing opportunities through acquisitions, modular housing, re-purposing existing stock and investments in operating costs for support services; and

 

b. 1,500 affordable housing through housing benefits (including the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit).

 

3. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to fully fund the amount needed, as outlined in the 2022 Operating Budget, to address COVID-19 related financial impacts including in shelters and to provide support services for people moving out of  homelessness to permanent housing.

 

4. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Province of Ontario to provide $7 billion in outstanding capital and operating funding by 2030, to support delivery of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and allocate funds collected from Toronto through the Non-resident Speculation Tax, to the City of Toronto as one funding tool to help partially fund this outstanding commitment.

 

5. City Council re-iterate its requests to the Government of Canada to provide $6.5 billion in outstanding capital and operating funding by 2030, to support delivery of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and to allocate funds collected from Toronto through the Underused Housing Tax, to the City of Toronto as one funding tool to help partially fund this outstanding commitment.

 

6. City Council re-iterate its request to the Province of Ontario to address the adequacy and structure of social assistance by implementing a new standard flat rate structure for both the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program that:

 

a. uses a data-informed and evidence-based approach to annual social assistance rate increases, equalizes the benefit rate across the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, and better supports recipients to meet their basic needs, including the cost of housing; and

 

b. equalizes the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rent scales paid to Torontonians living in social housing with the housing benefit paid to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients living in private market rentals.

Origin

(April 20, 2022) Report from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

Summary

Since early 2020 to March 2022, the City of Toronto and its partners across various sectors have made significant progress advancing the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO Plan), while at the same time, continuing to manage COVID-19 related challenges. This includes moving over 10,000 people previously experiencing homelessness into permanent housing (including private rental, supportive, and rent- geared-to income housing); opening approximately 770 new supportive homes; and expanding renter support programs such as the Eviction Prevention in the Community (EPIC), Rent Bank and housing benefit programs.

 

Additionally, in large part due to the federal Rapid Housing Initiative, plus City capital and financial incentives and the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit, the City is on track to exceed the targets in the 24-Month COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Response Plan (24-Month Plan). The 24-Month Plan, which aimed to expedite delivery of the HousingTO Plan as an urgent response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, requested federal and provincial investments to deliver 2,000 new supportive and 1,000 affordable homes by end of 2022. In addition to the new homes mentioned above, there are over 17,000 other affordable rental and supportive homes in the City's development pipeline.

 

Maintaining our homelessness services, and concurrently creating new supportive housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness are key priorities for the City of Toronto. For 2022, the City requested $288 million in COVID-19 related emergency operating funding for shelters (part of $1.4 billion in COVID-19 pressures included in the 2022 Operating Budget) plus $27 million in one-time operating funding for supportive housing from the federal and provincial governments. As reported to City Council (Item MM42.33), as of April 2022, the remaining COVID-19 funding shortfall for shelters was estimated at $248 million; the $27 million in supportive housing requested from the province also remains outstanding ($275 million in total).

 

The Province recently announced that, in partnership with the federal government, it will allocate a combined $127 million through a fifth round of the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) province-wide. While the City awaits further details on its allocation amount and how it can be used, additional funding commitments will be required to manage the 2022 operating pressures. An ongoing commitment of $48 million per year (beginning in 2023) for the 2,000 supportive housing opportunities created through the 24-Month Plan is also needed.

 

On November 9, 2021, through Item EC25.5, City Council directed staff to report back with an estimated breakdown of the costs necessary to ensure everyone living in shelters, including hotels as well as 24-hour respite sites could receive a one-year rental subsidy to enable independent living, and cost analysis for additional funding needed for housing supports for individuals who are unable to live independently, affirming housing as a human right and providing a housing-first approach to end homelessness.

 

On November 25, 2021, through Item PH29.6, staff were directed to develop a broad public educational and advocacy campaign, in consultation with interested Councillors, on the funding needed from the Federal and Provincial governments required to end homelessness and to meet the targets and timelines in the HousingTO Plan.

 

This report responds to Council's requests. It also highlights that although access to a deeply affordable home/rent subsidy will help some people exit homelessness, an estimated 47% of people (4,508 individuals) using Toronto's shelter system are chronically homelessness, and also need access to a range of wraparound health and social services. These supports are necessary to help them achieve and maintain housing stability, and improve their health and socio-economic outcomes long term.

 

Recognizing that the lack of available rental supply in the city has also made it challenging to secure housing to move people out of homelessness, it is vital that all orders of government invest in creating new housing supply. To increase the supply of new rental homes and support the overall delivery of the HousingTO Plan, this report recommends that City Council re-iterate its request the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to commit to funding the HousingTO Plan, in part by allocating the funds collected (from Toronto) through the Non-resident Speculation Tax and the Underused Housing Tax, respectively, to the City of Toronto to create new affordable and supportive housing. The funds collected through these tools, which are designed to reduce "unaffordability" and lack of supply brought on by market speculation, could be used to support public and non-profit housing acquisitions and development projects, and increase the supply of permanently affordable and supportive homes across Toronto. Additional funding tools and programs will be required from all orders of government to fully fund the HousingTO Plan by 2030.

 

Additionally, this report recommends that Council re-iterate its previous requests to the Province of Ontario to revise social assistance rates, based on data and evidence including housing market conditions and increases to the overall cost of living. This change is urgently needed to prevent more households from falling into deep poverty, housing precarity or homelessness.

The report also recommends that City Council request the Province of Ontario to adjust the social assistance rent scales for those Torontonians living in social housing who are in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) supports, and make them equal to the rent scales applied for OW/ODSP recipients who live in private rental housing. Equalizing the rent scales for OW/ODSP recipients would allow the City to direct the $80 million it currently spends each year shoring up the provincial benefit programs, to the City's own housing priorities.

 

Homelessness is a complex systemic problem that cannot be solved by any one organization or sector, and therefore, requires integrated system responses. Addressing the converging homelessness and opioid challenges in Toronto will require new and enhanced investments in housing and healthcare by all orders of government. It will also require strong coordination with community health and hospital partners, Indigenous organizations and non-profit and private sector housing organizations.

Background Information

(April 20, 2022) Report and Attachment 1 from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on Intergovernmental Partnerships and Advocacy Efforts to Advance the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-224837.pdf

Communications

(May 4, 2022) Letter from Mayor John Tory (EX.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ex/comm/communicationfile-149656.pdf

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Mayor John Tory (Carried)

That City Council authorize the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to enter into and execute any agreements, including any amendments and extension of such agreements, with the Province of Ontario for funding to support the City’s delivery of supportive housing units on terms and conditions satisfactory to the City Manager, and in a form satisfactory to the City Solicitor.


2 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Mayor John Tory (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council