The report uncovers the discrimination and procedural injustice built into the City’s Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF), an emergency housing needs fund with a mandate to prevent homelessness. The report is based on an analysis of policy documents we forced the Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) to release over a two-month fight this summer around the case of Laura Bardeau, a disabled single mother of two children (also living with disabilities) who was refused access to the fund. As the report makes clear, Laura was not alone. The arbitrariness and discrimination she experienced is systemic and affects over 30,000 social assistance recipients who apply to the fund each year. The report demonstrates how the current HSF policies discriminate against disabled people and people with children, and the how lack of transparency in its administration has paved way for rampant arbitrariness in decision-making.
The report was created in collaboration with the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario.