Toronto may give homeless people one year of free rent

Toronto’s city council is considering giving homeless people in the city one free year of rent.

During the city’s November 9th council meeting, a motion was brought forward regarding the proposal, including how much it would cost to give all people living in a city shelter, hotel shelter or 24-hour respite centre a rent subsidy that lasts a year.

“Given the existing housing crisis which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, our city’s unhoused population has had to depend on shelters as a solution,” said Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam in a statement to the Daily Hive.

According to Won-Tam, the cost of operating a homeless shelter has doubled amid the pandemic. For example, the cost of one person living in a shelter for a year costs the city $40,000, according to Wong-Tam.

In Won-Tam’s view, a rental subsidy would effectively allow the city to save money. For context, the average one-bedroom home in Toronto costs $1,800 or $21,600 annually.

In a later statement to the Daily Hive, Won-Tam says that Shelters aren’t designed to be permanent housing and emphasizes that housing is a provincial and federal responsibility.

She claims that the city’s current approach to the homeless crisis is “unsustainable” and that a new approach is necessary.

Source: Daily Hive

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