Ontario has pledged to invest $1 billion to help repair social housing and reduce homelessness as part of a community housing renewal strategy released Wednesday. “Our government believes Ontario families shouldn’t have to live in buildings with crumbling walls, leaking roofs and broken elevators,” said Steve Clark, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a news release. “We will work with municipalities and non-profits to address issues like safety, overcrowding and long wait lists.”Steve Clark. the minister of municipal affairs and housing, seen at Queen’s Parl in a Sept. 19, 2018, file photo. (Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star)The announcement, made in Newmarket, pledges to tackle wait lists, red tape and ensure faster repairs on existing housing stock. The strategy also promises to overhaul existing rent-geared-to-income rules using “ a simple calculation based on income tax information.”“We will explore how to transform the current waiting list system for rent-geared-to-income assistance into a comprehensive community housing access system that better matches applicants with housing that meets their needs,” the report states.In Toronto, the number of active applications for households looking for social housing — a mix of co-operative housing, Toronto Community Housing properties and private not-for-profit housing — hit 100,515 by the end of 2018, according to the City of Toronto website. Of that reported total, 35 per cent were identified as households belonging to or with seniors.TCH buildings are home to 110,000 people.Toronto’s ageing public housing stock received a recent boost, through a $1.3-billion federal pledge that is to be used for energy conservation and overall repairs. The money is a mix of grants and loans, which Sheila Penny, vice-president, facilities management with TCH told the Star would be repaid through a mix of energy savings and refinancing existing mortgages. The money is already flowing. Read more:Toronto Community Housing Corp. in a state of ‘crisis,’ says board memberTOP STORIES, DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX.