Monday, April 25, 2011

So what can we do to save and fix TCHC?


Be informed, get involved- find out for yourself what’s going on, go to meetings, check online and alternative media as well as the news, and talk to your family and neighbours.

Elected officials respond to pressure, it only takes a few minutes to send an email or make a phone call 

We all have the right to defend our rights to affordable, decent, secure housing that is managed within a democratic and accountable framework.

Tenants need:

Reformed Provincial housing laws to allow TCHC to function better and be able provide needed services and community investment.

Action: Call/email your MPP and tell them you want social housing to be protected by not allowing the number of units to be reduced (and other issues you want addressed)

We need to keep public ownership and management:

To keep programs and services like eviction prevention, tenant budget process, youth councils, scholarships and employment programs

To get more elected tenants on the board, at least many as there are councillors, including youth- who have a long-term stake in the issue.

The recommendations of the Lesage Inquest to protect vulnerable tenants must be implemented….

Any form of partnership set up to manage TCHC must include tenant and public participation as it is a valuable public asset.

All social housing communities need:

Adequate funding from the city, province and federal government to maintain and retrofit healthy energy efficient housing, and to provide more housing for the 75,000 people still on the waiting list.

Action: Attend all candidates meetings and ask why Canada does not have a social housing strategy like all other western nations, tell them stable funding for social housing is an investment in healthy communities, ask if they will commit to supporting social housing.

We do not need our homes and leases to be exploited by private companies. Private corporations are only accountable to their owners and shareholders and cannot afford to deliver services to vulnerable tenants.

Publicly owned Housing is an investment in healthy families and communities, not a cost to society! Homelessness and broken families are more costly in every way.

Action: Call and or email your councillor as well as Mayor Rob Ford. Send your letters (keep them short) to the media as well….it’s easy! google the City of Toronto and find your councilor’s contact info, and or look up  newspapers online and look for letters to the editor, or send emails to the CBC, CTV etc.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights, it is against the law to threaten people with eviction or firing for speaking up to defend their human rights.

Get advice from community legal clinics to be sure of your rights and responsibilities, ensure you have legal support if needed. Call 211 to find out where your local legal clinic is. Some can also help you organize your community!

Social housing has been sold off in other places and many people lost their homes. If you don’t get involved, you may find yourself asking what might have happened if you had!

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