Toronto & York Region Labour Council Endorses Stand Up Campaign

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Stand Up for Public Housing today welcomed the endorsement of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, the central organization of unions representing 205,000 workers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Stand Up is a new private citizens' group aimed at making funding for public housing a key issue in the October 19 federal election.

"The Labour Council has been an outspoken advocate for public housing for decades," said President John Cartwright. "The Stand Up team is out to hold candidates' feet to the fire on federal funding for public housing, and we stand with them."

Stand Up representatives began this week to ask candidates for all parties running in the Greater Toronto Area to support expanding Ottawa's definition of public infrastructure eligible for federal funding to include the renewal of existing public housing stock, and to ask Toronto candidates to support Ottawa paying a one-third share of the $2.6 billion cost of capital repairs to the city's 60,000 aging public housing units urgently needed to keep them livable and prevent 7,500 units from becoming uninhabitable over the next eight years.

"In the closing weeks of this campaign, Canadians must engage in a serious dialogue about the future of this country that includes ensuring Ottawa shares the cost of renewing public housing as part of our vital infrastructure," said Cartwright. "Low and modest-income Canadians count on public housing to allow them to participate in our society and our economy, and investing in public housing renewal has far-reaching economic benefits for our communities."

A Stand Up survey of 20,000 Toronto residents released Sept 24 showed three-quarters believe public housing costs can no longer be supported only by local property taxes:  75 percent agree the federal government should change the rules to allow the use of federal infrastructure funds to renew public housing, and 78 percent agree the federal and provincial governments should share the cost of renewing existing public housing stock.

The Stand Up team, including public housing residents, will share the survey findings with candidates and determine their positions on the two funding issues. Stand Up will release the candidate positions publicly before voting day, and conduct a get-out-the-vote campaign among public housing residents in the GTA and in Toronto, urging them to consider where the candidates stand on public housing renewal when they vote.

SOURCE Stand Up for Public Housing

For further information: To arrange interviews with Stand Up for Public Housing spokespersons, please contact: Danna O'Brien, 416-500-0699, danna@obriencommunications.ca

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