Residents of the Oakwood-Vaughan community came together on March 8 to begin planning for affordable housing in their neighbourhood.
The meeting was held virtually by the Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization (OVCO) to hear from the urban planning firm CP Planning how the community can assure it will have more and better affordable housing.
OVCO and CP Planning are partnered to deliver the Eglinton-Oakwood Tenant Solidarity Program.
The Tenant Solidarity Program plans to work with residents to explore inclusionary housing and partnerships with the city of Toronto and developers, and to invent new ideas of what is possible.
“It’s very important for us to have a strong vision of what we want,” said Cheryll Case, founder and principal urban planner for CP Planning.
Case specializes in community-engaged work in Toronto while taking a human rights approach to urban planning.
“I work with marginalized community members and diverse members of the community who believe that neighbourhoods should be affordable to all people,” Case said in an interview. “And that people of all backgrounds have rights to be able to access services.”
The goal is also to prevent rent increases and evictions for tenants in the up-and-coming neighbourhood.
The popularity of the Eglinton-Oakwood Vaughn community with developers has been growing since the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction has started to become a reality.
But fears of gentrification and displacing low-income families have been an issue the city promised to reverse in a virtual conversation on March 4.
Case said she plans to work with the city and area residents to shift that trend by “building a vision that is built from the community that reflects the interests of those who are emotionally invested in the well-being of tenants.”
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