2023 March 31
Today, as part of the City of Toronto’s continued commitment to a human rights based approach to housing and improving housing outcomes for residents, Toronto City Council adopted Terms of Reference for a new Housing Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC). City Council also received a report from the Ombudsman on the role of a Deputy Ombudsman, Housing.
City Council’s decisions for the HRAC terms of reference and resources to the City Ombudsman builds on the City’s continued momentum toward achieving its ambitious housing goals. Last week, the City’s Executive Committee, led by Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), approved a work plan for the Housing Action Plan 2022-2026 as a strong and transparent approach to increasing housing supply, housing choice and affordability for current and future residents. These efforts complement the City’s ongoing HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan implementation.
The HRAC is a new Council Advisory Body (CAB) that will provide advice to Council to ensure that the interests and needs of those with living or lived experience of housing precarity, discrimination and homelessness are reflected in City policies, programs and service delivery. It will also support the City’s engagement with equity-deserving communities to help identify systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing and maintaining adequate housing. Further, recognizing that strong intergovernmental actions and partnerships are needed to address the housing crisis, HRAC will support the City’s advocacy to other orders of government and make recommendations to Council to address systemic barriers to adequate housing which lie outside of the City’s jurisdiction.
The HRAC will take a whole-of-community approach to advise Council on addressing Toronto’s complex housing challenges. Members will include individuals with a diversity of living/lived experience of housing precarity and homelessness, including youth, Indigenous and Black residents, housing advocates, academics and service providers.
Once Council appoints members, the HRAC will comprise a diverse group of individuals, including 12 members – 11 public members, one of whom will be appointed by City Council as Chair and one member of Council. Recruitment for public members, including the Chair of the Committee, will begin in the summer and the committee is expected to begin to meet later in 2023.
The HousingTO Action Plan seeks to address the housing needs of more than 340,000 low- and moderate-income households by 2030, including those from equity-deserving groups such as Indigenous Peoples, Black and other racialized residents, seniors, women, youth and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The new Housing Data Hub can be found at www.toronto.ca/housingdata.
Council’s decisions for the Terms of Reference for the Housing Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC) for the 2022-2026 City Council Term and the Ombudsman’s report on the role of a Deputy Ombudsman, Housing are available on the City’s website: CC5.6 – Terms of Reference for the Housing Rights Advisory Committee for 2022-2026 City Council Term and DM5.2 – Review and Consideration for a Housing Commissioner Role or Function at Ombudsman Toronto.
More information is available on the City’s 2020-2030 HousingTO Action Plan webpage.
The City’s Housing Action Plan 2022-2026: Priorities and Work Plan report to Executive Committee is also available online.