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City changes how it identifies priority neighbourhoods

The City of Toronto announced on Monday it is implementing a new system for determining the "equity score" of the city's 140 listed neighbourhoods. No longer will neighbourhoods with low scores be called "priority neighbourhood areas," but rather under the new system it is reframed as "neighbourhood improvement areas."
The new system grades neighbourhoods on 15 indicators that include health, economics, political participation, and education, the Toronto Star reports. A benchmark score has been set at 42.89. Neighbourhoods falling below the line will be designated as improvement areas. It includes aspects that were not considered before, such as socioeconomic issues. 
"(The new version) allows us to identify and measure how people are doing in our neighbourhoods … then we can go back, year after year, to track progress," Chris Brillinger, Toronto’s executive director of social development, finance and administration, says in the article. 
Under the new system, several neighbourhoods previously deemed priority neighbourhoods lost that designation, while others are now considered neighbourhood improvement areas. This means those previous priority neighbourhoods will no longer have access to funding. About $12 million in capital funding has been allocated for these improvement areas, which is on par with funding priority neighbourhoods received eight years ago, but the Toronto Star reports the actual total will be much higher. 
Neighbourhoods such as Thorncliffe Park are now considered neighbourhood improvement areas. "The earlier criteria failed to recognize some of the genuine challenges that a community like Thorncliffe faces,” says local councillor John Parker in the article.
"Instead of single-parent homes, in Thorncliffe, 'many families are crowded together in dwelling units,' Parker said. 'The new approach tries to address that reality and measure exactly what’s happening on the ground,'" the Toronoto Star reported. 
St. Michaels Hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health spent the last year developing the 15 indicators for which the listed neighbourhoods are ranked.
For more information, read the full story here
Original Source: Toronto Star
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