Following conversations with senior tenants in Toronto Community Housing Corporation buildings, I learned that the Canadian Revenue Agency is clawing back hundreds of dollars in Ontario Trillium Benefits from vulnerable residents who didn't even know they were ineligible.
In 2011, the City of Toronto exempted approximately 53,000 of TCHC's nearly 60,000 units from municipal education property taxes. As a result, tenants in those units were no longer eligible to receive the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OTC) under the Trillium Benefit. Regrettably, this change was not clearly communicated to TCHC tenants or to community partners who help them file their taxes.
Now, years later, tenants are being asked to pay upwards of $950.00.
TCHC tenants cannot afford to be penalized because of government errors. Many are seniors, newcomers, and folks with mental and/or physical disabilities who already live on extremely fixed incomes. With the added burden of the pandemic and the increased cost of living in Ontario, making ends meet has never been more difficult.
My Toronto Opposition MPP colleagues and I have written to Doug Ford and the Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy to ask them to intervene and stop this clawbacks now!