The City of Toronto has decided to cash in on the hot real estate market by putting more than 20 city-owned homes up for sale.

City council's executive committee voted on Tuesday to sell 22 homes operated by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, a move that will leave 22 families without residences.

The market value for the homes is about $17 million, and the proceeds have been earmarked to be used for repairing other city-owned property, at an estimated cost of $650 million.

Coun. Adam Vaughan said the decision to sell the home was short-sighted, saying the homes' value wouldn't make a dent in the cost of repairing the rest of the city's assets.

"If there is a $650 million backlog and it does double every year, it will be $1.2 million this time next year," Vaughan said. "Which means the money we're raising here is nothing. A drop in the bucket while a bonfire rages outside our door."

Case Ootes, the TCHC's managing director, approved the sale of the homes last month.

Ootes said on Tuesday that further steps could be taken once the TCHC nominates its new board.

"Well this particular sale of 22 houses is a start. There will be recommendations going to the new board with respect to the options that may be available that new board may want to take advantage of," Ootes told reporters.

Dozens of people attended the public meeting Tuesday afternoon, pleading for the committee to vote down the motion.

"I'm begging, I'm begging. And it takes a lot for me to beg. And I just ask for you to think it over before any final decisions are made," tenant Heather O'Neill pleaded.

Other tenants called the decision to sell off the homes the first step towards privatizing social housing.

The committee's decision to approve the sale is subject to council approval.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson