Need a 1-bedroom apartment with community housing? You might wait 9 years in Toronto

Housing advocate Sherri Williams tells her story as national summit begins in Toronto.

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As Toronto gets ready to host a national housing summit Friday, where stakeholders and government officials will discuss ways to address homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing, there are many in the city for whom it isn't just a talking point, it's a reality.

For some, the wait to get affordable housing can be nearly a decade, and Sherri Williams was one of the many on the long waiting list.

She spent seven years waiting to get housing for her and her five kids, and only just moved into her new home in July. It was something made possible by Habitat for Humanity.

'Trying to become better and do better'

But Williams's journey to get affordable housing began much earlier than that. It was back in 1994 when she realized she needed it.

"That was probably one of the lowest points in my life. I had a couple of kids and at the time I was in between jobs, going to school also," Williams told CBC News. "So I was trying to become better and do better for my family, and I was paying increasing large amounts of rent."

After being put on the long wait list, she landed a spot with Toronto Community Housing in seven years. And before moving into her new townhouse, she lived in an apartment building.

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