What does the right to housing mean to you?
The right to housing means so many different things to me because it affects every aspect of my life, from stability, safety, family, community, health, and happiness. Housing has always been a major factor that impacts my life from birth to present. My family’s housing needs became even more prevalent once we moved to Canada, and because of this it fuels the work I do. The right to housing is a human right and needs to be adopted universally. Housing should not determine an individual’s worth or humanity but enhance it.
What is the number one thing that Toronto City Council must do to advance the right to housing this year?
Toronto City Council needs to strengthen their affordable housing policies. The City needs to be authentic and intentional with how they address housing needs, especially when working with diverse and marginalized communities. This work needs to be conducted through an equity and anti-displacement lens because we cannot police our way out of the crisis we continue to face. Utilizing tools like Inclusionary Zoning, requiring a minimum of 30% of affordable units in all new developments, and creating more deeply affordable and rent-geared-to-income units are a few solutions. Overall City Council needs to listen, implement, and work with communities to address housing needs because band-aid solutions will not continue to work.