Today, the City of Toronto will begin accepting applications to recruit public members for the City’s new Housing Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC). Interested residents can apply on the City’s Public Appointments webpage.
The HRAC is a new Council Advisory Body that will advise Council to ensure that the interests and needs of those with living or lived experience of housing precarity, discrimination and homelessness are reflected in City policies, programs and service delivery. It will also support the City’s engagement with equity-deserving communities to help identify systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing and maintaining adequate housing.
The application period will remain open until October 13. Nominated candidates are expected to be considered by Toronto City Council in December following a recommendation from the Civic Appointments Committee.
On March 31, Toronto City Council adopted Terms of Reference for HRAC as a key step to advancing the City’s commitment to a human rights-based approach to housing to improve residents’ housing outcomes. Learn more about the Terms of Reference for HRAC by visiting the City’s Housing Rights Advisory Committee.
The month prior, City Council also approved funding for a Deputy Ombudsman, Housing, within the Ombudsman Toronto office as part of several coordinated actions to support housing outcomes. Learn more about the Deputy Ombudsman by visiting the Ombudsman Toronto’s website.
Recognizing that strong intergovernmental actions and partnerships are needed to address the housing crisis, HRAC will support the City’s advocacy to other orders of government and make recommendations to Council to address systemic barriers to adequate housing which lie outside of the City’s jurisdiction.
The HRAC will take a whole-of-community approach to advise Council on addressing Toronto’s complex housing challenges. Members will include individuals with a diversity of living/lived experience of housing precarity and homelessness, including youth, Indigenous and Black residents, housing advocates, academics and service providers.
The HRAC will comprise a diverse group of 12 members: 11 members of the public, one of whom will be appointed by City Council as Chair, and one member of Council. City Council appointed Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of Council’s Planning and Housing Committee, to the HRAC in August.
HRAC builds on the City’s continued momentum toward achieving its housing goals as set out in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. The Plan seeks to address the housing needs of more than 340,000 low- and moderate-income households by 2030, including those from equity-deserving groups such as Indigenous Peoples, Black and other racialized residents, seniors, women, youth and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
More information about the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan is available on the City’s website.
The City’s Housing Data Hub can be found online.
HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan: Priorities and Work Plan report to Executive Committee is available online.
“We are committed to building more affordable and supportive housing for the people of Toronto. As part of the HousingTO Action Plan, the Housing Rights Advisory Committee will help bring the perspectives of people with lived experiences of homelessness and housing precarity to City Hall. I encourage people to apply and help the City better reflect people’s needs.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“The housing challenges in Toronto are complex. I look forward to working with the Housing Rights Advisory Committee to help improve housing outcomes for residents. I encourage folks who are passionate about housing and advancing the right to adequate housing in Toronto to apply for this Committee, lend their voice to this important work and help us shape this city.”
– Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
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