Report: The sell-off of public housing is a bad idea

The Wellesley Insitute has released a new report outlining seven things you need to know about the TCHC’s proposed sale of 700 “stand-alone” homes. Briefly summarized, here’s what you need to know:

(1) Toronto’s waiting list for affordable housing is at an all-time high (81,410 in Oct. 2011) and the stock of private rental housing is declining and unaffordable. Selling off hundreds of affordable homes will worsen this crisis.

(2) TCHC’s standalone units yield a $1.5 million operating income each year. This money can be used to finance long-term capital repair needs.

(3) By investing in repairs and energy efficiency, the TCHC can save substantially. Infrastructure Ontario offers funds for such investment.

(4) Investing in affordable housing repairs generates good jobs and other economic activity. Investing in housing has one of the highest economic multipliers of all forms of government spending.

(5) Selling off hundreds of affordable homes actually deprives TCHC of significant operating revenue, and can be seen as part of a broader process of weakening the agency by selling off valuable parts of its portfolio.

(6) Much of the capital repair and operating shortfalls are the responsibility of higher levels of government. The TCHC has chosen not to pursue funding from the federal and provincial governments, with no explanation.

(7) Toronto has become increasingly divided by income. Stand-alone units work against income segregation by creating mixed communities. Instead of cannibalizing its housing stock, TCHC needs to collaborate with other housing providers and preserve and enhance the city’s affordable housing stock.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (TCHC-Housing-Sell-Off-Backgrounder) or view it on the Wellesley Institute website.

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