Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Toronto Community Housing should purchase houses in Iroquois Falls

rfmcdpei linked to an article describing how the town of Iroquois Falls, Ontario is doomed now that its paper mill has closed.


jsburbidge wrote about the terrible lack of affordable housing in Toronto, Ontario, which would need $30 BILLION to correct the current backlog.


Iroquois Falls has schools, sports facilities, a 34-bed hospital with emergency room, and an airport.
Toronto has a large number of homeless/underhoused people, and an urgent need for affordable housing for 90,000 people.
The Toronto construction industry can barely make 20,000 condos per year, so building enough units for 90,000 more people (assuming funds magically appeared) would take forever.

We are currently putting homeless Toronto families in dilapidated motel rooms on Kingston Road, at over $15K per year per family.
According to realtor.ca, there are currently 42 residential real estate listings in Iroquois Falls, ranging from $27K (one bedroom, one bath) to $78.5K (three bedroom, one bath).

A percentage of the underhoused people in Toronto can't or shouldn't work, or have no hope of a job in the current economy. Let's say that a fifth of the underhoused population is a child of school age, is retired, is on disability, or is a full-time caregiver of someone. Living in a clean, safe, but jobless town might not be disagreeable to them.

A percentage of those underhoused people may lack support networks, groups of friends, or close relatives in Toronto, and so moving to a new town would not make things worse for them. Let's suppose this describes a fifth of the previously-mentioned people who wouldn't mind living in a jobless town. That's about 3600 of the 90,000 underhoused people in Toronto - nearly the current population of Iroquois Falls.

Toronto Community Housing should buy homes in Iroquois Falls, and offer current tenants and future applicants the chance to move there. This would save the town, as the influx of residents would help keep key government-funded support services going (health care, education). This would save Toronto money, as the cost per house would be less than new urban construction. This would give some underhoused people a chance for larger, better accommodations than they could expect to find in the city.
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