Electricity and tenants
The provincial government recently passed the Energy Consumer Protection Act (ECPA). The ECPA allows landlords to separate the cost of electricity (sub-meter) from rental units if tenants agree, based on clear information, and if tenants receive a rent reduction. Landlords must follow other rules under the new law and are not permitted to sub-meter buildings with electric heat. For more information or to read the City of Toronto's recent submissions on the ECPA and its proposed regulations click here.
SMIS now fully implemented
The Shelter Management Information System (SMIS) is now fully implemented in all 57 shelters in Toronto. SMIS - a web-based application - helps shelter operators manage occupancy issues and organize case management work for clients. It provides efficient and seamless services while enhancing shelter system administration for Hostel Services. Learn more
To Haiti, with love
“Dear Haiti, I hope you still have your mom, brother, or sister.” So read one of the many heartfelt messages sent by children staying at Robertson House, a city-operated shelter for mothers and children, to victims of the recent earthquake. Learn more.
City Council approves new Emergency Human Services policy to help those affected by emergencies
In an emergency, Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration's Emergency Planning Unit mobilizes City Divisions to provide mass care for individuals, families and pets who
have been displaced. City Council has approved a new Emergency Human Services policy to ensure the City continues to provide
immediate, temporary services during an emergency and connect residents with existing services for longer-term needs.
Housing is good medicine
The Ontario government is developing a long-term strategy for mental health and addiction services. An all-party Select Committee has been hearing from Ontarians for several months about ideas and strategies that should be included. Shelter, Support and Housing Administration recently provided input to represent the most vulnerable mentally ill and addicted people of all: those who are homeless and precariously housed. Main message: for these people, housing is the first medicine to consider. See full submission
City Council strongly endorses housing plan for Toronto
City Council has strongly endorsed the Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT) Action Plan 2010-2020, which was released in May following more than a year of consultations. HOT will help a cross-section of Torontonians, from people living on the street to seniors struggling to maintain and repair their own homes. It will serve as a road map to guide government investment, as well as public and private sector activity, while recognizing the limits of the City's financial resources. A first for a Canadian city, it also includes a housing charter. Learn about HOT.
Streets to Homes innovation honoured by national housing
The City of Toronto's Streets to
Homes program has been named by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation as one of Canada's best practices in Affordable Housing.
Katherine Chislett, Director of Housing and Homelessness Supports
with Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division, accepted
the 2008 Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable
Housing at a ceremony in Ottawa.
Participants in research project share positive experiences
In the latest newsletter from At Home/Chez Soi, a national research demonstration project on mental health and homelessnes, Toronto participants talk about their new homes. Read more.
Queen Street residents get a helping hand
A six-alarm fire forced residents from their homes above the stores in a block at Queen and Portland Streets on a frigid February morning. But although they were forced to flee, there was somewhere warm and friendly to go. See how the community pulled together. If you were directly affected by the fire, you can find help on this City resource list..
Streets to Homes gets global recognition
Toronto's own world class housing program, Streets to Homes, has been given the nod as one of 12 finalists for the World Habitat Awards. The awards, which carry a £10,000 prize, recognize innovative solutions to homelessness. The winners were announced in October 2008.
Social housing is "tied in knots"
Everyone agrees: well-funded, well-managed social housing is essential for communities to be socially and economically viable. And although Toronto has done what it can to protect the valuable asset, the social housing stock continues to be at risk. A number of issues are converging to bring us to the breaking point. Read the complete staff report. Get the fast facts: Toronto social housing by the numbers.
How are we doing? Shelter clients speak up
In the fall of 2007, Hostel Services engaged in an exciting and unique Client Services Review process. The opinions of people who use shelter services are essential in assessing those services and will help the City and its partner agencies provide the highest level of quality within the system and ensure we are responsive to the diverse needs of clients.
Panhandler's turn of fortune
The City's Panhandling Pilot project is over and staff members are analyzing the results. But for one panhandler, the bottom line is already clear: the community worker he met up with quite literally saved his life. "I have been truly touched by an angel and your project sent her my way," he wrote to the project's manager. Meet Alex Blow.
New research supports "housing first"
A survey of people housed thanks to the City's Streets to Homes program shows them to be much happier and healthier for the experience. Details of the statistically valid research were presented in Washington D.C. July 10 at the annual conference of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
City provides safe refuge for fire evacuees
Residents in the vicinity of a raging five-alarm fire at Victoria Park and Danforth on September 20 were able to seek refuge in the emergency evacuation centre opened by City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration about two kilometres away at the East York Community Centre on Pape Avenue. Providing safe shelter, food, registration and support services to evacuees and their pets during emergencies is the main job of the emergency planning unit in the division.
Sleep Country Canada donates Olympic mattresses to help homeless people
In partnership with Service Canada and the City of Toronto, Sleep Country Canada, who provided more than 6,000 beds to the 2010 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, donated 220 of those mattresses sets to social services agencies in Toronto. Read more
City of Toronto wins prestigious affordable housing award
On November 6, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration accepted a 2006 Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable Housing from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The national award recognizes the City's creative Fort York Residence. The residence is a transition to work and housing facility that assists homeless men to move from shelter, to transitional housing, to permanent housing in the community.
SCPI Replacement Plan Taking Shape
The City is managing the transition between the old and new federal programs funding services and projects to assist homeless people, although few details are yet available. See the investment and transition plan (PDF) approved by Community Development and Recreation Committee February 19.
Student resources website
Students, teachers, parents ... learn more about homelessness
and what is being done to help people find proper homes and keep them. Check out
our student resources website, specially designed for kids. Because home is where it starts.