Councillor Jennifer McKelvie
Moving forward on affordable housing
Another month has passed and another series of interesting and meaningful issues have come to the forefront at Council. I want to outline in particular our successes on affordable housing and homelessness. Before I do though, I hope everyone of Chinese descent enjoyed a festive Lunar New Year last month.
At January’s Council meeting, I voted in favour of Mayor John Tory’s signature “Housing Now” plan to create 10,000 new residential units of housing at 11 city-surplus properties. Two-thirds of these properties will be rental units and many will be available as affordable housing for low-income people.
The mayor and most of us on Council heard loud and clear on the campaign trail that the lack of housing, particularly affordable housing, is reaching critical levels. Housing Now is a signature policy that is the first major step Council will be taking in this term to provide much needed housing. I look forward to additional Council measures to keep the momentum on housing strong, and hope to see shovels in the ground as soon as possible. We are also making positive investments in shelters and training to support the city’s homeless population.
Last month I toured YouthLink’s new transitional shelter in Scarborough that will open soon. YouthLink is a non-profit organization that has been supporting the emotional well-being, mental health and intellectual development of youth in our community for more than 100 years. They will be opening a new youth shelter with 41 transitional and 10 emergency beds very soon on Warden Ave. to service the Scarborough community and beyond.
YouthLink successfully secured funding from the City of Toronto for the facility in order to provide new services for youth experiencing homelessness in Scarborough. Any donations to this organization will be money well spent. Canned food, clothes for young people or money will all go a long way in making a positive difference. They also have a job board that needs to be filled with local opportunities. Please considering visiting the YouthLink website for more background and information on how to donate: www.youthlink.ca.
As some of you may know, my Constituency Office has been opened at the Scarborough Civic Centre at 150 Borough Drive. I believe the Scarborough Civic Centre is a landmark. It’s a central hub of our community, and I think it has been neglected for too long. I strongly believe that more municipal jobs and investment should flow back to the Scarborough Civic Centre and by opening my Constituency Office there I hope to get the ball rolling on this important issue. It’s a small step, but I believe in taking that step. Free parking is available once you book an appointment with us.
My staff and I are here to help you. I’m happy to meet with residents are their homes or at local community centres. I will always be as accessible as possible. Please email my team and me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at 416-338-3771.