On Friday, April 12th, 2019 the London Homeless Coalition hosted its biannual Soup ‘n Bread event at the Covent Garden Market Square. Using an interactive public art activity and display, we shed light on the deeply concerning growth of the wait list for social housing in London.
In a period of 5 years, the wait list has grown from 2,807 in 2015 to 4,820 today, an increase of 72%.
Our art display consisted of a handcrafted, wooden house with thousands of figurines lined-up outside of the house and running through the Market Square. This line-up presented a sobering visual of just how many individuals and families are currently waiting to enter into a place they can call home.
This growth in the social housing waitlist is a clear indicator of the difference between the need for affordable housing in London and the available supply. Without available affordable housing, our efforts to end homelessness are made significantly more difficult. Having seen increases in shelter lengths of stay in the last City of London report, we are calling on all orders of government to immediately put funding to work to increase the supply of new affordable housing, including units at an Ontario Works or RGI rate.
A special thanks to John Howard Society staff and clients for their hard work and creative thought going into this year’s art display. Thank you to our current partners and the community for their continued support and partnered initiatives as we work together to solve housing loss from a systems approach. We hope to see everyone again on October 10th for our next event.