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Toronto Hosts First Annual Housing Summit to Kick Off National Housing Day

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Today marks National Housing Day, a CMHC– and National Housing Strategy-driven initiative that recognizes the vital work being done by various housing partners and providers to boost shelter supply and access across Canada.

In the City of Toronto, the event is being marked with the Toronto Housing Summit, a two-day conference focused on identifying key issues and opportunities to improve housing affordability in the city.

Mayor John Tory proclaimed National Housing Day this morning, with an inaugural kickoff for what will be an annual event as part of the city’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. This will “drive innovative practices and promote partnership-based solutions that can help make way for more affordable and sustainable housing, with critical supports, in Toronto,” by approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes and 18,000- supportive homes (including 1,000 modular dwellings). This will “improve housing outcomes for current and future residents of Toronto,” according to a release.

READ: Contested Modular Homes Open Their Doors in Toronto’s East End

Currently, more than 15,000 affordable rental homes are under development in the city.

Summit participants will hear from a number of key experts in various aspects of the housing space including Indigenous housing partners, non-profit, health care, business, academic, and development sectors. A full list of panelists can be found here.

Topics of discussion will focus on partnerships and innovation to increase affordable housing supply and enhance the health and well-being of residents, while also highlighting how interconnected the housing, health, and justice systems are. Meaningfully addressing housing issues will require a coordinated effort across these sectors, states the city’s release.

“National Housing Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on our collective action on building affordable housing and to recognize the many individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to deliver positive housing outcomes,” said Mayor John Tory.

“Together, the City of Toronto with the federal and provincial governments, the private sector, and non-profit housing organizations, are always looking for innovative solutions to get more housing built as quickly as possible. I am determined to push forward with the aggressive targets set in the City’s HousingTO plan to ensure that all Toronto residents have access to safe, secure, affordable, and well-maintained housing in their neighbourhood of choice.”

The city will also run a “More Homes for Toronto” social media campaign throughout the week to help build awareness of its various housing programs and policies to create new homes, with more info to be found on the city’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It’ll also be releasing the first-ever Toronto Housing Data Book — available on the city’s website — which will offer a high-level overview of indicators that measure the health of the city’s housing system.

“Understanding data from various sources is essential for policymakers, researchers, and the public to help identify solutions to make meaningful change across the housing continuum. The Data Book will be updated annually and will continue to grow in subsequent years to include more robust data that aligns with the City’s strategic goals,” reads the city’s release.

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