A group of anti-poverty protesters will descend on city hall Tuesday after claiming that the city is postponing plans for rent-geared-to-income housing in Toronto’s Cabbagetown.

The demonstration will come on the same day that the city’s Planning and Housing Committee will meet to discuss the revitalization plan for Dundas and Sherbourne streets.

At issue are the properties located at 214-230 Sherbourne, which the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) says have sat vacant for 12 years. They say that if the city expropriated the privately-owned property, it could yield between 150 and 260 rent-geared-to-income housing units.

The housing crisis in Toronto continues to claim lives. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the need for safe and stable community housing is as prevalent as ever. While city officials deliberate on their next moves, hundreds continue living in emcampments and on the street to avoid the overcrowded and inadequate shelter system, This is not an acceptable living arrangement. We must demand swift and adequate solutions from our elected representatives. WE NEED YOUR HELP.

“You’re planning to utilize a world-class training facility to house this?” the email asked. “This” refers to homeless people.

No one will want to use the aquatic centre after “they” have been in there, a caller said, referring to, you know, homeless people.

“I shudder to think how expensive it will be to disinfect and repair our facility once this is over,” someone wrote on Facebook.

This is some of the blowback that Mayor Drew Dilkens and the city are fielding after announcing that the aquatic centre is being converted into a temporary emergency shelter for homeless people because the Downtown Mission is closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s been a rough couple weeks for volunteers and residents at Hope for Sudbury.

The 24-hour shelter on Regent Street currently houses 24 homeless people. Last week, city officials told Paul Temelini, owner of the building, that $800,000 in renovations is needed to keep the shelter operating.

Monday evening, Hope for Sudbury Volunteers met with the city and were told they must start closing the shelter beginning Friday.

“They would like us to release the 24 people who are here back into the system that’s in place,” said Hope for Sudbury founder Richard Pacey. “Which is standing back in line for the warming stations and the shelter.”

Pacey told CTV News so far six of the 24 residents have left the shelter and are back living in tents.

The B.C. government announced Monday that two shelters offering a total of 120 beds will be in place by April for people currently living in tents in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park.

The shelters will be located at 875 Terminal Ave. and at 15-27 East Hastings St. and be operated by nonprofit housing operators. Each shelter will have 60 beds.

“We need to get people inside into dignified, supportive shelter as quickly as possible to prevent death or serious injury for those trying to stay warm outside this winter,” said David Eby, Attorney General and minister responsible for housing, in a press release.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has been touted by those across the political spectrum as a prospective model of social security that would provide guaranteed cash to citizens.

But while UBI is desirable in principle, it’s not a magic solution to the intricate and perennial problems of poverty and income inequality. Furthermore, its implementation in Canada is not financially, administratively, politically or constitutionally feasible.

The city is struggling to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the Seaton House shelter for homeless men at 339 George St.

Since an outbreak — meaning two or more cases within 14 days — was declared at the shelter on January, the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has grown to 43 clients and staff, the city said in a news release yesterday.

This is more than double the 20 cases reported 10 days ago.