In April 2020, the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing launched the Rapid Rehousing Initiative to identify vacancies to be made available immediately to people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. Phase 1 of the initiative helped 459 people move into 300 units of permanent and fully furnished housing. An additional 450 units will be made available in 2021 as part of phase 2, and as of the end of May 2021, more than 160 households have moved into these units.
The program is available to people who are experiencing chronic homelessness* who are on the Centralized Waiting List and are staying in an emergency overnight space or living outdoors and working with Streets to Homes. This program is not available to the general public.
Consistent with the Coordinated Access system, a prioritization approach (informed by how long a person has been experiencing homelessness and how long they have been on the Centralized Waiting List) will be used to identify potential tenants to support the City’s COVID-19 response and rapidly move people from homelessness into permanent housing.
People who are connected with units are supported in all aspects of the move-in process, including unit viewings, reviewing leases, furnishing apartments, and establishing connections with on-going follow up supports.
The City has partnered with the Furniture Bank to set up the units for tenants when they move in, including providing furnishings and household items to help new tenants feel at home.
*Chronic homelessness refers to people who have experienced homelessness for six out of the past 12 months, or 18 months out of the past three years.