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. Through 2020 and 2021, the initiative connected over 990 people to permanent and fully furnished housing. An additional 550 units are planned for 2022, including 100 units through the Accelerated Housing Plan approved by City Council.
Read this tiptap Foundation article to learn more about the program’s origins and success.
The program is available to people experiencing chronic homelessness* who are on the Centralized Waiting List for rent-geared-to-income housing 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 a Coordinated Access approach, the tenant identification process considers prioritization factors, including length of homelessness and length of time on the Centralized Waiting List. This supports the rapid movement of 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.