NDP Leader Andrea Horwath offers Toronto social housing repair money – if she's elected

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called the conditions inside one Toronto Community Housing apartment "heartbreaking," and vowed she would foot one-third of the repair costs for social housing if she's elected.

Mayor John Tory vows to keep up the pressure until Queen’s Park comes through with funding

Mayor John Tory, left, and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath toured a destroyed apartment inside a Toronto Community Housing highrise on Monday morning. Horwath vowed her party would fund one-third of the repair costs needed to fix the city's crumbling housing stock if elected next year. (John Rieti/CBC)

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called the conditions inside one Toronto Community Housing apartment "heartbreaking," and vowed she would foot one-third of the repair costs for social housing if she's elected.

Horwath and Toronto Mayor John Tory toured a highrise on Bleecker Street Monday morning, taking a look at one vacant apartment TCH has deemed uninhabitable, and also speaking with several tenants in the building.

After Unit 605, where the kitchen, bathroom and floor and windows are so damaged that it will take until next January for TCH to make it liveable, Horwath said the conditions were "unacceptable." She said the province has a responsibility to help fix it.

"We'll deliver exactly what's needed," she told reporters following her tour.

TCH officials have declared this Bleecker Street unit uninhabitable. The organization is dealing with a multi-billion dollar repair backlog. (John Rieti/CBC)

Tory called Horwath's pledge "an important commitment," and said he's been assured federal money will be flowing to this issue as well.

Tory has been blasting Queen's Park since the release of the latest budget, which trumpeted investments in the affordable housing area but didn't include a commitment to provide some $800 million to repair social housing in the city.

The mayor said there's still an urgent need to come up with that funding and has been meeting with opposition leaders to amp up the pressure.

"I can't not talk about it," Tory told reporters, when asked about his choice to hold another news conference at a TCH building — the third in recent weeks.

'Nobody's listening,' tenants say

Outside the building, residents say they're happy to see a politician of any stripe paying attention to the conditions there.

"Nobody's listening, because we're poor and we don't have money," said Laurie Brown.

Donald Gray, another resident, wore an orange shirt to welcome Horwath, who he said is the "only one who cares" about social housing.

Last week, Tory met with PC Leader Patrick Brown, who offered to make several changes at TCH but didn't commit to funding the repair costs.

Premier Kathleen Wynne's government has hinted more help could be on the way while highlighting some $700 million in housing investments that are already going to Toronto. 

Flooding completely destroyed the flooring inside Unit 605. TCH says it will take months to make the repairs needed before someone else can move in. (John Rieti/CBC)

About the Author

John Rieti

John Rieti covers city hall and city issues for CBC Toronto. Born and raised in Newfoundland, John has worked in CBC newsrooms across the country in search of great stories. Outside of work, catch him running or cycling around, often armed with a camera, always in search of excellent coffee.

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