The province has vowed to make community housing safer by “empowering” housing providers to reject tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity in the past.
In an announcement Wednesday, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark provided some details about its “Community Housing Renewal Strategy” and as part of the “early steps” to improve community housing in Ontario, the province says it will make it easier for landlords to turn away tenants who have been kicked out for criminal activity.
Mayor John Tory has repeatedly called for legislative changes to give social housing providers the power to ban tenants who have been evicted for “serious behavioural misconduct.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Tory applauded the province’s decision.
“This has been a longstanding request from the City to ensure that a tenant who is evicted for serious behavioural misconduct, such as drug dealing, domestic violence, or involvement with guns, cannot immediately apply for rehousing from Toronto Community Housing,” Tory wrote.
"After years of advocacy to previous governments, I want to thank Minister Clark for finally listening to the City of Toronto's request and taking action. I know our two governments have a shared determination to ensure the safety of all our residents, especially seniors and families who live in TCHC.”
Tory said a ban will send a “strong message to criminals that they are not welcome in TCHC.”
“We have a duty as governments to do everything possible to stop the misconduct of a small group of people who are disrupting the lives of law-abiding Toronto Community Housing residents,” the mayor wrote.
During today’s announcement, the Ford government also promised to help “sustain, repair, and grow community housing and help end homelessness.” Tory said he welcomes any additional investment the province is willing to make in Toronto Community Housing.
“We await details of this commitment so as to determine if this has positive implications for Toronto Community Housing,” Tory’s statement concluded. “Such support is much needed and would be most welcome.”
In its 2019 budget, the Ford government cut funding to Municipal Affairs and Housing, the ministry responsible for social housing in Ontario, by $367 million.