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Hundreds to rally in support of affordable housing in Toronto Tuesday April 28th, 7pm, Toronto City Hall

Toronto, Ontario, April 27, 2015 – On Tuesday, April 28th, hundreds of the city’s affordable housing residents and advocates will hold a rally at Toronto City Hall calling for more investments in affordable housing from the province and federal government. The Close the Housing Gap Rally is co-organized by the City of Toronto, the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada, the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

For housing co‑ops in the city, it is another opportunity to draw attention to the needs of its’ most vulnerable households after disappointing news in last weeks’ federal and provincial budgets. Nearly half of Ontario’s 550 housing co‑ops receive funding from the federal government to provide rent-geared-to-income (RGI) subsidies to low-income households. The agreements under which this funding was provided have already begun to expire and there is no commitment yet to replace this support. Without government intervention, over the next 5 years almost 900 households in Toronto could lose the RGI subsidies they depend on to pay their rent. Toronto already has over 90,000 households on its social housing waitlist.

While the federal government continued on with scheduled cuts to the RGI subsidies, the provincial government failed to follow Quebec’s lead who recently committed to funding those co‑op members who saw their funding cut by the federal government.

“The funding needed to maintain the co‑op share of these subsidies is minimal, approximately $4.5 million over the next five years, but the impact it would have on these households is fundamental,” said Harvey Cooper, Managing Director of CHF Canada’s Ontario Region. “Recognizing that keeping people in their communities by maintaining rent supplements is one of the most affordable and effective ways to fight the growth of poverty in Ontario, we hope that the provincial and federal government will come to the table to find a solution.”

According to Tom Clement, the Executive Director of the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto “low income people are facing losing their homes. Without assistance from government, seniors, families, and the disabled may find themselves without housing. They will be forced to go on the social housing waiting list which means that they will not be housed in this decade.”

The rally will take place at Toronto City Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015.

CHF Canada’s Ontario Region represents and serves over 500 housing co‑ops in the province, home to some 125,000 Ontarians. Co‑operative housing has a solid track record of over four decades of building and providing safe, secure, affordable housing in member-owned communities.

For more information:

Tom Clement, Executive Director, Co‑operative Housing Federation of Toronto
416-465-8688 ext. 202 or 416-801-4207 (cell)
tom@coophousing.com

Aaron Denhartog, Program Manager, Government Relations, Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region
1-800-268-2537 ext. 801 or 416-717-4330 (cell)
adenhartog@chfcanada.coop