(Download the press release: T4SH Press Release (Aug.18_2011))
Mayor Ford accelerates process to fast track mass eviction of social housing tenants
Toronto – While tenants raised concerns about the sale of 22 homes at the first public meeting of the new Toronto Community Housing Board, Mayor Rob Ford was asking Premier Dalton McGuinty for permission to sell almost 1,000 more in a private meeting.
“The Mayor is asking the Province for permission to sell more of our homes without Board or City Council approval. There has been no consultation or communication with tenants. This is wrong.” said Susan Gapka, active tenant and member of Tenants for Social Housing. “The Mayor is fast tracking the eviction of hundreds of families living in TCHC and tenants are worried if they will be evicted next,” continued Gapka.
Two months ago Toronto Community Housing Managing Director, Case Ootes announced that he would be recommending the sale of 900 homes to the incoming Board to fund the backlog of capital repairs. Today, the Mayor ignored the process set out by his own appointee and pushed forward with his plans to sell off social housing in Toronto.
“We’re very concerned that the Mayor is forgetting the thousands of tenants living in TCHC and is more concerned about selling off our homes”, said Wallace Simpson, tenant representative and member of Tenants for Social Housing. “The City needs to have a better plan to deal with the repairs and needs of tenants living in TCHC” he continued. “It seems like the Mayor and some Councillors would like to get rid of us all and sell off all of our homes so that there isn’t anything left to repair.”
Members of Tenants for Social Housing are worried about tenants living in the almost 1,000 homes and concerned about the approximately 70,000 people on the wait list for housing. “TCHC tenants already have enough challenges”, said Gapka. “No one knows if their housing is safe or up for sale. No one knows if their home will be sold next. No one knows who is ending up on the street because the Mayor doesn’t seem to care.”
Tenants for Social Housing wants City Hall to stop the sale of social housing in Toronto and will be approaching Provincial Parties to ensure that provincial legislation and safeguards are maintained to support social housing tenants in Toronto and elsewhere in the province.