Jamey (One of my passionate volunteers) shouldn’t ever have to deal with threats of eviction; but unfortunately, that looming threat is a reality for many in Hamilton today.
Housing prices in Hamilton Centre have already doubled in the last 5 years. Rents have increased by 25 % over the same period.
Right now a single person gets a maximum of $489 for shelter on ODSP and only $384 on Ontario works.
Today the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Downtown Hamilton is $1138.
Why are we surprised that 77% of people experiencing homelessness report Ontario works or ODSP as their primary source of income?
Canada is already a signing member of the UN declaration recognizing housing as a human right. But much like the Paris accord, these agreements are more about words than actions. One of the biggest reasons I decided to run for the Green Party is we back up our words with actions.
We would immediately increase Ontario works and ODSP payments to equal the low-income threshold of $22,000, while we roll out a basic income plan to protect all Ontarians that fall on hard times.
We would protect communities from vulture capitalists by putting a tax on vacant properties to make it harder for speculators to park their cash.
We would fight the commodification of housing by placing a surtax on quick turnaround sales and expand the nonresident speculator tax to the entire golden horseshoe.
We would legislate that all new developments include at least 20% affordable stock including low-cost rental units.
The Green party also supports energy retrofits and renovations of our aging social housing stock.
We would take this one step further by investing in new social housing projects that meet demand and conform to at least net zero standards. This would further increasing affordability and lower operating costs.