Since 1964, CRC has had a long history of working with and walking alongside individuals who are homeless or who have been precariously housed. Going beyond a charity response to need, CRC challenges the situations that make people’s lives worse.
CRC assists people who are marginalized and living in poverty; to secure safe affordable housing. We work with them to establish connections to create community where they can grow and thrive. We are not just focused on the short term. We also have vision for a Toronto where low income people have access to housing that is safe, affordable and where they can establish roots and create community.
CRC staff recognize that the client is the expert of his or her life. We listen in a non-judgmental way, with the dignity of the client a priority, and give advice that is responsive to the particular client’s needs. The approach is client centered and solution focused. We understand that supporting a person’s transition into permanent housing is critical; preventing or adverting crisis is a priority. When individuals feel safe and secure in permanent housing and are not consumed with the daily search for shelter and food, they can then move forward with other goals.
The housing programs offered at CRC are:
Advocacy for Affordable Housing
CRC understands shared housing from both the landlords’ and tenants’ perspective. CRC has played a leadership role in the Rooming House Working Group, The Rupert Coalition, and other partnerships, like the Multifaith Alliance to End Homelessness, to advocate for deeply affordable housing, notably in the rooming house sector. Through this work we developed a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing shared accommodation. We have also worked directly with rooming house landlords, tenants, local agencies and Neighbourhood Associations to enhance the rooming house stock in Toronto’s downtown eastside.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) defines “affordable housing” as 80% of the average market rent in an area. In Toronto in 2014, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1035 and for a bachelor is $876. According to CMHC, affordable for a one-bedroom is $828 and for a bachelor is $700.
However those who receive Ontario Works or are on the Ontario Disability Support Program find that their shelter monthly component is woefully inadequate (1/2 to 2/3 of what is needed). This means that for many, affordable housing isn’t really affordable.
At CRC, we work with rooming house owners to provide the most affordable housing available. Our goal is to house people, and to work with landlords and service providers to keep them housed.
Supporting Regent Park Residents through the Redevelopment of Regent Park
CRC also supports families and individuals through the Redevelopment of Regent Park, allowing room to grieve the loss of their community as it is today, and inspire hope for what the community will become in the future. We work to ensure residents are treated respectfully when making decisions about where they will relocate to, stay in contact with them while they are in other communities, and work with them to remain involved in discussions about the future plans for the Regent Park community. When it was time to return to their new home, CRC plays a key role in welcoming and integrating them back into the newly emerging community!