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National Housing Crisis Needs a Federal Response

A number of community-based organizations in the Toronto Downtown East, aiming to improve the health of individuals and our communities as a whole, have come together with a common concern about the lack of affordable housing. Along with those of our clients and community members, we want to add our voices to all those advocating across Canada.

Through our everyday work, we understand that good housing is an essential building block for better physical, mental, and emotional health. We bear witness to the harsh reality that a lack of housing can have devastating effects on the well-being of individuals and our communities as a whole. It is alarming to us that the average age of death for homeless men and women in Toronto is 45 and 39 years, respectively. (Source: Hwang, S. 2000. Mortality among men using homeless shelters in Toronto, Ontario. Journal of the American Medical Association, 283(16), 2152-2157.)

Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing plan. And yet, every year, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 people are absolutely homeless in Canada, which can only be an underestimate, given the countless numbers of hidden homeless. Millions more are inadequately housed. If we don’t act now, our federal affordable housing initiative and the homelessness program will be cut to zero within a decade.

November 22nd, 2013 is National Housing Day. At 10 a.m., banners will be dropped from the building fronts of Adam House, Casey House, COTA, Fred Victor Centre, Native Women’s Resource Centre Toronto, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Schoolhouse Shelter, Sistering, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, and Street Health, appealing to all levels of government to work together in creating an affordable housing strategy across the country. At 11:30 a.m., community members and organizations will walk from Regent Park Community Health Centre to Yonge and Dundas Square for the National Housing Day Rally at noon.

Casey House contact: Karen de Prinse – email  | Phone : 416-962-4040