The City of Toronto has called on the federal and provincial governments to help create 3,000 affordable housing units in the next 24 months as part of a recovery plan.
The COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Recovery Response Plan, announced by the City on Tuesday, is an urgent appeal to both governments to invest in the plan, which aims to create affordable housing for homeless, vulnerable, and marginalized residents in Toronto.
Out of the 3,000 permanent homes, 1,000 would be new permanent modular homes, 1,000 would consist of affordable rental homes, and the other 1,000 towards new portable housing benefits which will assist people to secure housing and pay rent.
“Addressing the housing and homelessness issue is a big priority for our city, but we know we cannot do it alone. This call is for our federal and provincial governments to partner with us on housing to provide a real solution,” said Mayor John Tory.
“COVID-19 has heightened the housing issue on so many fronts, which means we must act now to create more permanent supportive housing solutions. Our plan is cost-effective and socially responsible and will address the continuing challenges when it comes to housing.”
This plan also calls for funding to help 2,000 of these residents with the necessary support in order to maintain stable housing, which includes mental health services, substance abuse services, assistance with daily living activities for residents with disabilities, and seniors.
According to the City, before COVID-19 struck, it cost $3,000 per month to operate a shelter bed in Toronto. Now the cost has doubled due to the increased space and protective resources needed.
With moving 3,000 people out of the shelters and into permanent housing, the City estimates it could save $15 million a month to $180 million a year, if health and safety measures are still in place.
“This savings is further increased when considering the reduced costs to the healthcare, long-term care, and justice systems when people exit homelessness,” said the City.
“This fiscally and socially responsible housing recovery plan will provide safe, secure and affordable housing options to reduce homelessness, reduce costs to all orders of government and support economic recovery.”