September 24, 2015 2:36 pm
Updated: September 24, 2015 3:42 pm

Big city mayors demand big funding for social housing

WATCH ABOVE: The mayors of Canada’s biggest cities are putting pressure on the federal party leaders to commit funding to social housing. Mark McAllister reports.

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TORONTO – The mayors of Canada’s biggest cities are putting pressure on the federal party leaders to commit funding to social housing.

Mayor John Tory hosted the mayors of London, Kitchener, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax in downtown Toronto on Thursday.

After a tour of the YWCA on Elm St., the mayors urged federal parties to help with repair bill for affordable housing.

“We have a huge bill for the repair of social housing that is in existence today and we need some federal help with that,” Tory said.

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The City of Toronto has freed up over $ $171 million in 2015 but still requires $2.6 billion over the next decade to deal with aging buildings.

READ MORE: City frees up more than $300 million for Toronto community housing repairs

“I hope in the remaining weeks of the election campaign, all three of the leading parties and all of the parties will take a more in depth look then they have at housing,” Tory said.

“[It’s] an important part of what they all acknowledge to be the most important issue in this campaign, which is the economy and jobs.”

Chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said cities need to have specific commitments on housing dollars from federal budget.

“We have a housing crunch right across the country. Homelessness continues to grow and there is massive pressure on low and middle income families in our cities,” Robertson said.

“They cannot afford to buy in cities, rental housing has not been built for decades.”

In Canada, there are over 94,000 social housing units.

Over 93,000 households are currently on the waiting list to get social housing.

The average wait time for affordable housing is more than six years.

With files from The Canadian Press

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