This week, Toronto City Council voted to create more than 500 supportive homes and more than 100 new affordable rental homes with the approval of multiple housing projects.
There are approximately 7,800 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. New housing that provides tenants with support services is urgently needed to ensure everyone has a warm and safe place to call home. Supportive housing sites are operated by a qualified and experienced non-profit housing operator with 24/7 on-site staff providing residents with a range of supports to help achieve housing stability and prevent a return to homelessness. To provide this rapid response, the City is using both innovative modular construction on City-owned or controlled land or acquiring existing buildings (such as hotels or motels) that need renovations.
Council approved proceeding with supportive housing modular developments at 175 Cummer Ave. and 20 Bracebridge Ave. (formerly known as the Trenton and Cedarvale Aves. site). Council also endorsed, in principle the construction of modular housing at 75 Tandridge Cres. and 7 Glamorgan Ave.
Council has also approved the recommendation for the City to sign a lease agreement with St. Clare's Multifaith Supportive Housing Society to provide operational and supportive services for residents at 877 Yonge St. Once renovations are complete, occupancy will begin during two phases, with the first phase starting later this month.
At this meeting, Council also furthered the Don Summerville revitalization project with the approval to purchase 32 residential homes in this development to create affordable rental housing. The Don Summerville revitalization project will create a total of 766 residential homes including 120 replacement rent-geared-to-income apartments, 100 affordable rental apartments, 188 market rental apartments, and 363 market condominiums. The 32 affordable rental apartments being purchased, which are part of the 100 affordable rental apartments to be developed onsite, will be operated by a non-profit co-operative housing provider that will be selected through a request for proposal process.
Council also approved moving forward with activating 15 Denison Ave. with the approval to issue a request for proposal for a non-profit development partner to design, build, finance and operate this new mixed-use affordable rental housing development under a long-term lease with the City. This innovative city-building plan will create new affordable rental homes within a complete community. The project will see a City-owned parking lot at 15 Denison Ave. turned into affordable homes. With the purchase of adjacent properties on Queen St West there will also be the creation of an 8,800 square foot public park and cultural space.
The creation of affordable rental homes and supportive housing are both key elements of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. The Action Plan provides a comprehensive blueprint to assist more than 341,000 people with a focus on creating permanent housing solutions. This includes 40,000 new affordable rental home approvals of which 18,000 would be supportive housing, including the creation of at least 1,000 modular homes, over the next 10 years.
- The City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, www.toronto.ca/community-people/community-partners/affordable-housing-partners/housingto-2020-2030-action-plan/
- The 24-Month COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Response Plan – Update, http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PH19.11
- COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Recovery Response Plan, www.toronto.ca/community-people/community-partners/affordable-housing-partners/housingto-2020-2030-action-plan/?accordion=responding-to-covid-19
- Map and information on the City’s supportive housing developments, https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/affordable-housing-developments/map-of-affordable-housing-locations/
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has moved quickly to create new affordable supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness. The City is working with the federal and provincial governments to increase the number of new, permanent and affordable supportive homes as quickly as possible – building homes in months not years - to help our residents.”
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
“With Council's support today, we are well on our way to meeting our goal of creating over 1,200 supportive homes over the next year. That means that at least 1,200 people will have a warm and safe place to call home by this time next year.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee