John Tory weak on affordable housing

    TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - John Tory has demonstrated his weak judgment
again by ignoring the need for more affordable housing in Ontario, said Deputy
Premier George Smitherman.
    "The Conservative platform is weak with no ideas and Tory's costing
offers no money for new affordable housing programs in Ontario," said
Smitherman. "More weakness from John Tory."
    Smitherman slammed the Harris Tory party for cancelling all provincial
affordable housing programs and the thousands of units that were under
development. They downloaded responsibility for existing housing to cities,
and then allowed for massive rent increases that led to an increase in
evictions and unfair treatment of all tenants.
    And Tory himself has said he doesn't believe government should be
involved in affordable housing: "I am not one of those who thinks governments
should necessarily be in the housing business as builders, owners and
financiers." (Toronto Star, March 25, 2002)
    "After eight years of Harris Tory turmoil, Ontario Liberals have turned
things around and made real progress for tenants and for affordable housing,"
said Smitherman.

    Ontario Liberals have:
    -  created 35,000 new housing allowances to help low-income families;
    -  allocated funding for almost 20,000 new affordable housing units;
    -  and protected tenants with the lowest annual rent increases in the
       history of rent regulation in Ontario.

    "We're going to keep moving forward with a mix of non-profit and
co-operative housing, and work with financial institutions to create new
programs for low-income Ontarians to build equity and save for a home," said
Smitherman. "We have a plan to pay for our plans also, including a $60 billion
infrastructure plan."
    Experts are praising the Ontario Liberal plan. Sharad Kerur, Executive
Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association said, "The Liberal platform is
quite promising and mirrors ONPHA's message to create a much needed long term
housing strategy. It explicitly indicates that non-profit and co-op housing
must be part of the mix."
    "John Tory just hasn't thought it through. He made a promise in his
platform to 'house the homeless' but has no plan to do it, and his costing
document has no money set aside to do it," said Smitherman. "His weakness on
housing is a big disappointment to Ontario families."

For further information:

For further information: Ben Chin, (416) 961-3800 ext. 412,

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