The economic case for community housing and child care | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) last modified 2015-04-06T09:45:06-04:00
The Toronto Community Housing Corporation has released a report showing the comprehensive social policy case for government-funded community housing. The TCHC is a public company that houses 60,000 families, many of whom are youth and/or live in poverty.

The interim head of the TCHC stated to a business community that unless $2.6 billion is invested in community housing over the next 10 years, 7,500 affordable homes will disappear over the next 8 years. In fact, the current availability of affordable community housing falls substantially short of what is needed, and even more money should be invested to properly meet the needs of the city's people.

TCHC makes the argument simple, $7.5 Billion ($4.9 billion of which is currently found through public and private sources) will yield a $18.5 billion increase in GDP, an extra 14,000 jobs per year, 220,000 fewer emergency room visits, a 15% reduction in crime, $4.5 billion in new tax revenue, and prevent an additional $3.8 billion in health-care costs. This, of course, is on top of our social obligation not to evict poor working people into the streets.

Along the same logic, this week saw the Parliamentary Budget Office release the “How Much Does the Federal Government Spend on Child Care and Who Benefits” report. It shows that more than half of the families that receive the current benefit do not actually have any child care expenses (because their kids are over 13 years old).

The analysis from this report is clear, it is far more effective, less expensive and less complicated for the federal government to provide a public child care system to everyone who needs it than to try to re-jig the tax system.

More: Interim CEO presents findings of Economic Impact Study to Toronto Region Board of Trade

More: Toronto Community Housing needs $7.5B in repairs over 30 years

More: Parliamentary Budget Officer's report exposes dramatic flaws in Harper child care policy

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