Tory announces funding plan for Toronto housing initiatives in 2023 budget

Click to play video: 'No ‘nuts and bolts’ service cuts: Toronto Mayor Tory'
No ‘nuts and bolts’ service cuts: Toronto Mayor Tory
WATCH ABOVE: In advance of budget discussions, Toronto’s mayor says they’ll be no proposed cuts to what he calls nuts and bolts services in the city in 2023. As Sean O’Shea reports, that means recreation services, pools, libraries, and other public services will not be reduced. – Jan 5, 2023

Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is investing more funding into housing initiatives as part of the city’s 2023 budget.

The City said the budget proposes investments of nearly $2 billion in gross spending for housing. They also noted excluding ongoing COVID-19 expenses, the budget proposes $616 million in direct support from the City’s tax base for housing initiatives.

Click to play video: 'Toronto finds extra $6 million ahead of council budget meeting'
Toronto finds extra $6 million ahead of council budget meeting

“This budget, I’m focused on protecting and improving the nuts-and-bolts services Torontonians rely on and following through to build housing and keep our city safe. From keeping pools, rinks, and youth spaces open, to snow clearing on sidewalks across the city and building more housing, I’m focused on protecting municipal services,” Tory said.

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The mayor made another budget announcement Thursday after announcing plans for the year on the Toronto Police Service and the TTC.

The 2023 Housing Action Plan was proposed by the mayor and passed by city council in December. The investments included:

  • $3.5 million in new funding to fully support the implementation of legalizing multi-tenant housing.
  • $7.08 million for the Eviction Prevention Intervention in the Community (EPIC) program.
  • $18.85 million for the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program.
  • $146 million for operation of the City’s Housing Secretariat which includes housing development, revitalization, and improvement, and support for tenants.
  • $295.8 million for the City’s subsidy to Toronto Community Housing Corporation, as well as a further $10.8 million as they work to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

The budget also calls on the provincial and federal governments to fulfill housing obligations put forward by their jurisdictions which include:

  • $48 million to support wrap-around services for 2,000 units of supportive housing from the province — a planned increase of 900 more units than 2022 —under its responsibilities for mental health care.
  • $91.9 million to support refugee housing costs from the federal government, under its responsibilities for immigration and refugees.
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Included in the budget are “nuts and bolts” services to improve, protect, and preserve city services such as:

  • Protecting recreation centre hours during shoulder seasons;
  • Keeping outdoor pools and rinks operating on their full schedules;
  • Continuing to deploy seasonal parks works teams for Spring and Fall cleanup;
  • Keeping all wading pools open;
  • Protecting and keeping all youth spaces open in City facilities;
  • Increasing the Toronto Public Library budget by $5 million or 2.4% over the 2022 budget, and continuing COVID-19 support of $3.6 million;
  • Protecting the Winter Maintenance budget;
  • Ensuring seasonal washrooms and fountains in City parks are open earlier in the spring and later in the fall—through an added investment of over $2.86 million.
Click to play video: 'Tension runs hot at Toronto council meeting during housing debate'
Tension runs hot at Toronto council meeting during housing debate

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