Re: Toronto Council proposal would end sheltering families in motels FWD (
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 01:04:35 -0400


I have always believed that permanent housing was the answer to everyone's
needs, not welfare hotels.  But, since some communities cannot offer housing
to all, these welfare hotels should not be considered permanent housing...
but should move folks into permanent housing.  All to often folks just end
up stuck in a welfare hotel or shelter.  I think the biggest part of getting
housing is self-advice and joining together with other folks to stop
creating more welfare hotels and start building apartments for folks.

I am afraid this is to often the most sure solution and the easiest, but as
always our government would rather use Band-Aids.
I hate the idea of folks living in welfare hotels.  It saddens me to think
of a whole generation of children growing up in stability.. no
proper place to call their own. (personal space).

As always the simplest answer is build safe, affordable housing for all.
It's rather a simple idea but is works. He.

Thanks for listening to me rant.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Boland <>
Date: Friday, April 23, 1999 8:29 PM
Subject: Toronto Council proposal would end sheltering families in motels

>Would phasing out "welfare hotels" in Toronto or elsewhere leave homeless
>families better off?  If so, under what conditions?
>See related article below:
>FWD  Toronto Star - April 23, 1999
>     Proposal would phase out placing families in motels
>     Proposal includes spreading housing throughout city
>     By  Jack Lakey - Toronto Star  City Hall Bureau
> Toronto City Council will consider a five-year plan to phase out placing
>homeless families in motels along Kingston Rd. in Scarborough.
> But council's community and neighbourhood services committee was told
>yesterday that the proposal will never work unless the provincial and
>federal governments help pay for more affordable housing.
> ``You can't phase out the motels without something to replace them,'' said
>Councillor Gordon Chong (Don Parkway), a member of the committee.
> ``Until the federal and provincial governments get their heads on
>straight, we need the motels,'' said Councillor Michael Prue (East York),
>who also sits on the committee.
> As the city's hostel system filled up in the 1980s, the community services
>department began moving homeless families into the strip of run-down motels
>along Kingston Rd. as a short-term measure.
> But the crisis didn't ease up during the 1990s and more than half of the
>families seeking aid were eventually housed on Kingston Rd.
> Now, more than 900 people on social assistance are living in the motels,
>while another 150 have been sent to motels outside the city.
> A report to the committee from city staff notes that area residents are
>growing impatient with the strain placed on schools and community services
>by the transient families.
> Homelessness is a national disaster and senior levels of government have
>to help pay for the solutions, Mayor Mel Lastman said yesterday in a speech
>to the Salvation Army.
> The federal government ``helped create the problem when they got out of
>the housing business nine years ago, and they still haven't owned up to
>their share of the responsibilities,'' Lastman said.
> The committee approved a staff recommendation for a five-year plan to
>phase out the use of the motels, but also voted to spread out the necessary
>social housing across the city.
> It also conceded that without significant resources from senior levels of
>government, it is unlikely the city will be able to develop alternatives.
> The committee's recommendations are to go to city council for approval.
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