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Ontario to allow community housing providers to turn criminals away

Last Updated Apr 17, 2019 at 3:38 pm EDT

Exteriors of the Toronto Community Housing offices at 931 Yonge St. in Toronto on Feb 6 2013. THE GLOBE AND MAIL/Fred Lum

Ontario is allowing community housing providers to deny tenants who have previously been evicted for criminal activity.

If a tenant gets evicted for such illegal activities as drug trafficking, assault or damaging property, they can currently reapply to live in the same building.

The province says it will now give municipalities the tools to turn those people away.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has been pushing for the change and says it sends a message that criminals are not welcome in community housing.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced the change today as part of a community housing renewal strategy, saying Ontario is investing more in housing and homelessness than any other level of government.

The NDP notes that the Progressive Conservative government’s recent budget actually reduces spending in Clark’s ministry by $366 million.