Improving public housing
Toronto is committed to making sure all people have a safe and decent place to call home. The City is supporting that goal in 2008- 2009 by investing $75 million from the sale of Toronto Hydro Telecom to repair public housing units at Toronto Community Housing. It’s the City’s biggest public housing repair investment in history.
The funding, combined with $36.5 million in funding from the Ontario government, will allow Toronto Community Housing to refurbish thousands of housing units to make them more liveable for tenants. The focus is on kitchens and bathrooms, which are most in need of repair.
Work is already well underway. In 2008, 2,598 kitchens and 2,042 bathrooms in 3,500 units were replaced. In 2009, another 2,500 kitchens and 1,500 bathrooms in 3,200 units will be revamped.
The work also supports the City’s green efforts. Where possible, kitchen and bathroom upgrades will feature sustainable products like made-in-Ontario FSC-approved wood products, Energy Star appliances, energy-efficient lighting, recycled paint, biodegradable ceramic tiles, low-formaldehyde countertops, and low-flow toilets, taps, faucets and showerheads.
The funding will also allow Toronto Community Housing to retrofit 10 buildings with new energy efficient building systems. This will improve the buildings’ long-term sustainability, key to improving quality of life for tenants. These efforts will also reduce water and energy use and help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Housing repair investments have the important benefit of creating direct and indirect jobs for Toronto’s economy. The multiplier effect of this economic stimulus is greater than any other type of infrastructure investment, and its impact would benefit from additional investments by other orders of government.
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