Importance of affordable housing solutions recognized on National Housing Day

November 21, 2013 - In celebration of National Housing Day the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is teaming up with related organizations to host a symposium at Daniel Spectrum Artscape Lounge in Regent Park November 22nd, highlighting positive initiatives and challenges related to affordable housing.

"We are delighted to be hosting this year's National Housing Day symposium in Regent Park, as it serves as a fine example that healthy communities are derived from quality affordable housing options," said TREB President Dianne Usher. "Our city's exemplary world standing depends on the development of more neighbourhoods like this one."

The symposium will feature keynote speaker Spider Jones, an award-winning journalist and former three-time Golden Glove champion who traces his beginnings to the gang-infested, inner-city projects of Detroit and Windsor. The extraordinary path his life has taken gives him a unique ability to connect with, and motivate young people through Believe to Achieve; a youth outreach development and counselling charity.

Representatives from the City of Toronto, Habitat for Humanity Toronto and Ontario credit unions will also be on hand to share their perspectives on issues related to affordable housing.

"The City of Toronto is pleased to celebrate our partnerships with the private sector, non- profit organizations and other governments," said Councillor Ana Bailao, Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee. "Together, we will continue to successfully create affordable homes and healthy mixed-income communities across Toronto."

Catering for the event will be provided by Paintbox Bistro Catering, which has played a key role in the revitalization of Regent Park, offering start-up companies use of kitchen facilities, storage space, a business address, shared support services, and business and professional development training. 

"When government, industry, non-profit organizations and the private sector come together to share their perspectives on fostering affordable housing communities, inspired solutions follow," said Ms. Usher.

As part of the symposium participants will be asked to work in groups to construct gingerbread houses - purchased as a charitable donation to Habitat for Humanity Toronto's Gingerbread Build fundraising campaign - as they focus discussions on affordable housing issues.

"Developing affordable housing solutions is a formidable challenge, but of vital importance to the economic health and wellbeing of the entire city," says Habitat for Humanity Toronto's CEO Ene Underwood. "By sharing and developing ideas with our partners, we can better generate solutions for affordable housing in Toronto, making a better city for all."

In addition to supporting Habitat for Humanity Toronto, Greater Toronto REALTORS® regularly assist a number of other shelter-related causes through the REALTORS® Care Foundation, which offers grants throughout the province on an annual basis. Last year alone, Greater Toronto REALTORS® contributed more than $440,000 to the REALTORS® Care Foundation and distributed grants to 38 organizations throughout the GTA.

Greater Toronto REALTORS® also foster consumer efforts to achieve home ownership by offering guidance on options such as the Five Per Cent Down Payment Program, the RRSP Home Buyers' Plan and various tax rebates, which make home buying more affordable.

"As a number of studies have illustrated, the benefits of home ownership include improved financial stability, physical health, personal safety and academic scores," said Ms. Usher. "Given the positive, far reaching effects of home ownership, Greater Toronto REALTORS® regard their contribution to National Housing Day celebrations as an investment in our city's future."
The National Housing Day Symposium takes place November 22nd, 2013 from 7:30am to 10:00am at Daniel Spectrum Artscape Lounge in Regent Park, (585 Dundas Street East, Toronto).

Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Over 37,000 TREB Members serve consumers in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada’s largest real estate board.

Media Relations contact information:


Mary Gallagher, Toronto Real Estate Board

Senior Manager Public Affairs (416) 443-8158


Gil Hardy, City of Toronto

Affordable Housing Office (416)-397-4701


Joanna M. Dwyer
Director, Marketing & Communications, Habitat for Humanity Toronto

Phone: 416 755 7353 ext.259 Cell: 416 708-6481


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