[Hpn] Fwd: Open letter to Toronto City Council: Reasons for the anger

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Wed, 02 Feb 2005 00:07:17 -0500


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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Fw: Open letter to Toronto City Council: Reasons for the anger
Date: 	Tue, 1 Feb 2005 23:57:22 -0500
From: 	Cathy Crowe <cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca>
To: 	TDRC office <tdrc@tdrc.net>


Hundreds of homeless people and their allies and advocates packed 
Toronto Council Chambers on Tuesday to demand that City Council amend 
its draft homeless strategy. Council will debate the homeless scheme 
starting at 9.30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the Council Chambers. If you 
are able to attend, please join with others to show by your presence the 
urgency of our concerns.

 

* * *

 

February 1, 2005

 

An open letter to Toronto Mayor David Miller,

and Members of Toronto City Council

 

Earlier today, Council Chambers was filled with frustrated homeless 
people and their allies and advocates. Here are three reasons why 
everyone is so angry:

 

SECRETIVE PROCESS / NO CONSULTATION - The "Streets into Homes" strategy 
was prepared in secret, without any community consultation. Even City 
Council's own Homeless Advisory Committee did not get a chance to offer 
any comments until after the strategy document was complete and publicly 
released. The TDRC was first advised of the report 48 hours before it 
was publicly released. We were told by a senior city official that we 
would not like certain elements of the report, but we had no opportunity 
for comment or consultation.

 

FATAL FLAWS IN THE REPORT - When the report was released, it became 
clear that there were a series of fatal flaws that undermine its goal of 
ending homelessness in Toronto. For instance, the targets for new 
housing have been substantially cut. The current draft report calls for 
500 subsidized units and 500 market-rent units annually. This is down 
from the target of 2,000 subsidized and 1,000 supportive units adopted 
by City Council in 1999 in the Golden report. It is also substantially 
down from the target of 2,500 new subsidized units and 1,500 new 
market-rent units annually, plus 5,000 new supportive homes, called for 
by the Toronto City Summit Alliance (the community-business coalition) 
in 2003. In addition, the report calls for a new anti-homeless law for 
Nathan Phillips Square - an attempt to criminalize homelessness, despite 
promises by many municipal politicians that they would not adopt this 
approach. And the street outreach strategy has no specific plans to deal 
with the closing of the Edward Street shelter, a problem that will 
become even more acute if Toronto moves ahead with the proposal to cut 
an additional 1,000 hostel beds.

 

NO AMENDMENTS ALLOWED - The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee has 
proposed five amendments that would strengthen the homeless report. 
These amendments were supported by almost all of the more than two dozen 
organizations and individuals at Policy and Finance Committee. They have 
been endorsed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario; by a 
group of lawyers including Professor Peter Rosenthal of the University 
of Toronto; and by the Tenant Advocacy Group (legal advocates in 
Toronto). Four of the amendments have been endorsed by Council's 
Homeless Advisory Committee (the fifth was prepared after the HAC meeting).

 

Despite overwhelming support for the amendments, municipal politicians 
have refused to consider any changes to the flawed homeless scheme that 
was prepared in secret. As you consider the homeless strategy on 
Wednesday morning, we urge you to consider each of the elements of the 
report separately.

 

The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee is calling on City Council to make 
five amendments to the draft homeless plan:

        First, drop the proposed ban on "camping" at Nathan Phillips 
Square.

        Second, commit at least an additional $14.2 million in city 
dollars for new social (subsidized) housing to match the $14.2 million 
in re-allocated dollars.

        Third, create a new city-community committee to ensure delivery 
of new homes.

        Fourth, set the year one target at 3,000 truly affordable new 
homes.

        Fifth, amend the street outreach strategy to make sure that 
temporary beds that will be lost in the spring are replaced and to 
effectively support existing outreach services.

 

A new anti-homeless bylaw for Nathan Phillips Square, reduced targets 
for new truly affordable housing and a flawed outreach strategy will 
only make Toronto's homelessness disaster even worse.

 

On behalf of the TDRC:

 

Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse,

Atkinson Economic Justice Fellow;

Founding Member of TDRC

 

 

Michael Shapcott, Research Co-ordinator,

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee;

Research Associate, Centre for Urban and Community Studies,

University of Toronto

 

* * * * * * *
 
Michael Shapcott, Research Co-ordinator
One Percent Solution project,
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
 
and, Co-ordinator,
Community / University Research Partnerships Unit,
Centre for Urban and Community Studies,
University of Toronto,
4th floor, 455 Spadina Avenue,
Toronto, ON, Canada  M5S 2G8
Telephone - 416-978-1260
Facsimile - 416-978-7162
Web - www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca <http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/>
Web - www.tdrc.net <http://www.tdrc.net/>
 
New from CUCS Press:
Finding Room: Policy Options for a
Canadian Rental Housing Strategy
Details and order form: www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca 
<http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/>
 
 

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      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Subject: </th>
      <td>Fw: Open letter to Toronto City Council: Reasons for the anger</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Date: </th>
      <td>Tue, 1 Feb 2005 23:57:22 -0500</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">From: </th>
      <td>Cathy Crowe <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto:cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca">&lt;cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca&gt;</a></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">To: </th>
      <td>TDRC office <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto:tdrc@tdrc.net">&lt;tdrc@tdrc.net&gt;</a></td>
    </tr>
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<div><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">
<p></p>
<span class="464011420-31012005"><font face="Arial" size="2">Hundreds
of homeless people and their allies and advocates packed Toronto
Council Chambers on Tuesday to demand that City Council amend its draft
homeless strategy. Council will debate the homeless scheme starting at
9.30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the Council Chambers. If you are able
to attend, please join with others to show by your presence the urgency
of our concerns.</font></span></span></div>
<div>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span
 class="464011420-31012005"><font face="Arial" size="2"></font></span>&nbsp;</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span
 class="464011420-31012005"><font face="Arial" size="2">* * *</font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">February 1, 2005<span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">An open letter to
Toronto Mayor David Miller,<span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">and Members of
Toronto City Council<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Earlier today,
Council Chambers was filled with&nbsp;frustrated homeless people and their
allies and advocates. Here are three reasons why everyone is so angry:<span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">SECRETIVE PROCESS /
NO CONSULTATION &#8211; The &#8220;Streets into Homes&#8221; strategy was prepared in
secret, without any community consultation. Even City Council&#8217;s own
Homeless Advisory Committee did not get a chance to offer any comments
until after the strategy document was complete and publicly released.
The TDRC was first advised of the report 48 hours before it was
publicly released. We were told by a senior city official that we would
not like certain elements of the report, but we had no opportunity for
comment or consultation.<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">FATAL FLAWS IN THE
REPORT &#8211; When the report was&nbsp;released,&nbsp;it became clear that there&nbsp;were
a series of fatal flaws that undermine its goal of ending homelessness
in Toronto. For instance, the targets for new housing have been
substantially cut. The current draft report calls for 500 subsidized
units and 500 market-rent units annually. This is down from the target
of 2,000 subsidized and 1,000 supportive units adopted by City Council
in 1999 in the Golden report. It is also substantially down from the
target of 2,500 new subsidized units and 1,500 new market-rent units
annually, plus 5,000 new supportive homes, called for by the Toronto
City Summit Alliance (the community-business coalition) in 2003. In
addition, the report calls for a new anti-homeless law for Nathan
Phillips Square &#8211; an attempt to criminalize homelessness, despite
promises by many municipal politicians that they would not adopt this
approach. And the street outreach strategy has no specific plans to
deal with the closing of the Edward Street shelter, a problem that will
become even more acute if Toronto moves ahead with the proposal to cut
an additional 1,000 hostel beds. <span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">NO AMENDMENTS ALLOWED
&#8211; The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee has proposed five amendments
that would strengthen the homeless report. These amendments were
supported by almost all of the more than two dozen organizations and
individuals at Policy and Finance Committee. They have been endorsed by
the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario; by a group of lawyers
including Professor Peter Rosenthal of the University of Toronto; and
by the Tenant Advocacy Group (legal advocates in Toronto). Four of the
amendments have been endorsed by Council&#8217;s Homeless Advisory Committee
(the fifth was prepared after the HAC meeting). <span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Despite overwhelming
support for the amendments, municipal politicians have refused to
consider any changes to the flawed homeless scheme that was prepared in
secret.&nbsp;As you consider the homeless strategy on Wednesday morning, we
urge you to consider each of the elements of the report separately. <span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">The Toronto Disaster
Relief Committee is calling on City Council to make five amendments to
the draft homeless plan: <span style=""><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"
 style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span
 style="font-family: Symbol;">&middot;</span><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span>First, drop the proposed ban on &#8220;camping&#8221; at Nathan Phillips
Square. <span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"
 style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span
 style="font-family: Symbol;">&middot;</span><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span>Second, commit at least an additional $14.2 million in city
dollars for new social (subsidized) housing to match the $14.2 million
in re-allocated dollars. <span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"
 style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span
 style="font-family: Symbol;">&middot;</span><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span>Third, create a new city-community committee to ensure delivery
of new homes.<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"
 style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span
 style="font-family: Symbol;">&middot;</span><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span>Fourth, set the year one target at 3,000 truly affordable new
homes.<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"
 style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span
 style="font-family: Symbol;">&middot;</span><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span>Fifth, amend the street outreach strategy to make sure that
temporary beds that will be lost in the spring are replaced and to
effectively support existing outreach services.<span style=""><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">A new anti-homeless
bylaw for Nathan Phillips Square, reduced targets for new truly
affordable housing and a flawed outreach strategy will only make
Toronto&#8217;s homelessness disaster even worse. <span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">On behalf of the TDRC:<span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Cathy Crowe, Street
Nurse,<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Atkinson Economic
Justice Fellow;</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Founding Member of
TDRC</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span
 style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Michael Shapcott,
Research Co-ordinator,<span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS';"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Toronto Disaster
Relief Committee; </p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Research Associate,
Centre for Urban and Community Studies,</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">University of Toronto</p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><font face="Arial"
 size="2"></font>&nbsp;</p>
</div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">* * * * * * *</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2"></font>&nbsp;</div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Michael Shapcott,
Research Co-ordinator</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">One Percent
Solution&nbsp;project,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Toronto Disaster Relief
Committee</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2"></font>&nbsp;</div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">and, Co-ordinator,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Community / University
Research Partnerships Unit,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Centre for Urban and
Community Studies,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">University of Toronto,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">4th floor, 455 Spadina
Avenue,</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Toronto, ON, Canada&nbsp; M5S
2G8</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Telephone - 416-978-1260</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Facsimile - 416-978-7162</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Web - <a
 href="http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/">www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca</a></font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Web - <a
 href="http://www.tdrc.net/">www.tdrc.net</a></font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2"></font>&nbsp;</div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">New from CUCS Press:</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Finding Room: Policy
Options for a </font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Canadian Rental Housing
Strategy</font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2">Details and order form: <a
 href="http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/">www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca</a></font></div>
<div align="left"><font face="Arial" size="2"></font>&nbsp;</div>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
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