December 16th, 2022 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
The second City Council meeting of the term happened this week on Wednesday and Thursday. My colleagues and I considered a number of important items, including a new 2023 Housing Action Plan. The plan, which I supported, includes zoning and bylaw changes that will help build more housing supply in our city. However, to create a broad range of homes that people can actually afford, we need more programs and funding to subsidize and build publicly owned housing, as well as advancing access to housing as a human right. That's why I introduced amendments, which were adopted by Council, to ensure that the Housing Action Plan:
- Sets targets for the development of new co-op and non-profit rental housing
- Prioritizes co-ops, non-profits and community-owned housing for Toronto's Open Door program and other affordable housing programs
- Uses a right to adequate housing lens to guide intensification of our city.
After years of delays, Council finally moved forward with the adoption of the licensing framework for multi-tenant houses, which are also known as rooming houses. While rooming houses were already legal in Davenport, they are now permitted city-wide, with a licensing system that will help protect tenants and increase safety. This is an important move for affordable housing in our city, but much more needs to be done.
At Council, I spoke about the lack of supports available for people who are experiencing homelessness and the need for the city to extend lease agreements with shelter hotels, along with other measures to secure additional housing and drop-in services for people as we head into a cold and difficult winter.
We also considered the province's Bill 39 and the enhanced "strong Mayor" powers. Over the past month, I've heard from over 1,300 Davenport residents about their opposition to Bill 39 and undemocratic changes to our local democracy. When it comes to Bill 39, I have been firm: minority rule is not democracy, and decisions that shape our city should not be made with only one-third of Council support.
That's why on Thursday, I spoke out against Bill 39 and moved a motion to affirm that decisions at Council should be made by majority rule. My motion was adopted, along with motions from other City Councillors speaking out against this destructive legislation and calling for a repeal of Bill 39. All this would not have been possible without the work of thousands of volunteers and residents, who wrote letters, signed petitions, and stood up for the basic principles of democracy.
Additional Council items that I supported included: calling for a third party review of Metrolinx's mishandling of the Eglington Crosstown and construction delays; removing eligibility restrictions for the City's Home Energy Loan program; and improving safety on Bloor Street bike lanes during construction periods.
In January, the City will be considering the annual operating and capital budgets for the upcoming year. As a member of the Budget Committee, I will be actively involved in this process, and look forward to providing more information on how residents can learn more and get involved in the budget process.
City Councillor, Ward 9
In this Edition
- Vacant Home Tax Declaration
- Information on Sidewalk Snow Clearing
- Update on Brock-Sheridan Emergency Work
- In the community
Vacant Home Tax Declaration
An annual tax will be levied on vacant Toronto residences, payable beginning in 2023. You may have received a notice in the mail from the City of Toronto, notifying you of the requirement to declare the status of your property.
Declarations are due by February 2, 2023. Go online to complete your declaration, or call 311 to have a paper copy of the declaration form mailed to you.
A property is considered vacant if it has been unoccupied for a total of six months during the previous calendar year or is otherwise deemed to be vacant under the bylaw.
The goal of the City of Toronto’s Vacant Home Tax (VHT) is to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners from leaving their residential properties unoccupied. Homeowners who choose to keep their properties vacant will be subject to this tax.
Revenues collected from the Vacant Home Tax will be allocated towards affordable housing initiatives.
Learn more: alejandrabravo.ca/vacanthometax
Information on Sidewalk Snow Clearing
If snowfall accumulation is 2 cm or less in depth, it is up to residents and businesses to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within 12 hours of the end of a snowfall.
Property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from private property – including driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings – within 24 hours after snowfall ends to provide safe access for people and vehicles.
City crews start clearing all public sidewalks when the snow is 2 cm deep and the snow has stopped falling, or when icy conditions dictate.
Sidewalk clearing after a snowfall takes approximately 13 hours to complete and, depending on the storm severity, may occur more than once. Sidewalk clearing can continue up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
95 per cent of all sidewalks in Toronto receive mechanical sidewalk snow clearing. Due to sidewalk obstructions and narrow spaces, the remaining sidewalks are manually cleared by workers.
Update on Brock-Sheridan Emergency Work
Ongoing emergency work on Dundas St W, between Brock Ave & Sheridan Ave is coming to an end soon. My team has been working closely with Toronto Water, TTC, and other City divisions to ensure that work has been well coordinated and could be completed in the shortest amount of time possible.
While the initial estimate for completion was end of January 2023, I'm glad that great progress has been made and the road will be re-opening shortly.
Toronto Water is expected to complete road restoration by the morning of Saturday, December 17. TTC will be taking over the site on Saturday for track sweeping, salting, and streetcar overhead wire reinstatement.
Once TTC has completed their work, the road is expected to re-open by the afternoon/evening of Monday, December 19.
In the community
Last weekend, I was thrilled to join families and community members at the Junction Triangle Craft & Gift Show. It was great to see many familiar faces, shop for some holiday gifts, and get some yummy food—including Chilean empanadas!
Alejandra Bravo, City Councillor
Ward 9 • Davenport
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite C42
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Email: [email protected]