While the federal government is proposing to pump more than $2 billion into needed social housing across Canada, the cost of repairs to Ontario’s housing alone is estimated at about $1.2 billion, according to Derek Ballantyne, CEO of Toronto Community Housing.
“Is it enough? No, but it’s still pretty considerable,” Ballantyne said. And this is a watershed moment: “It’s the first time the money has been coming for the repair of social housing. So that’s a pretty big deal.”
Of the $2 billion package to be announced in today’s federal budget, $1 billion is expected to go towards renovating existing social housing and $600 million for housing on reserves.
“There’s a general shortfall overall of social housing in this country,” said Sharad Kerur, executive director for the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. “In Ontario alone there are a minimum of 124,000 people on a waiting list for social housing, and 70,000 of those people are in Toronto,” said Kerur.