Providing residents with good quality, affordable housing is the cornerstone of vibrant, healthy neighbourhoods and supports the environmental and economic health of the city, the region and the country as a whole. Bringing people inside means there are fewer people outside struggling to survive.
When a person chooses to live in supportive housing, they:
Building supportive housing can offer an opportunity for people to come together and create welcoming, safe and inclusive communities for all.
There are approximately 7,800 people in Toronto experiencing homelessness. New homes with supports are urgently needed to ensure everyone has a warm, safe place to call home. To respond to this urgent need, the City of Toronto is developing new sites to create more housing.
Providing permanent, affordable rental housing with support services on-site will help people to move out of the shelter system. Before COVID-19 the City’s shelter system was at capacity. Given the need for physical distancing with COVID-19, a considerable strain has been put on the shelter system. Shelter users are currently being housed in community centres and hotels, which is not sustainable.
Approximately 10,400 supportive housing units are administered or funded by the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division through a range of provincial, federal and municipal funding programs including Support to Daily Living, Alternative Social Housing Providers, Habitat Services that support individuals with serious mental health issues, and the Homes of Good Program.
Approximately 7,000 additional supportive housing units are administered through Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, including supportive housing for mental health and/or addictions issues. Additional supportive housing programs, such as those for people with developmental disabilities and youth, are funded through other ministries.
Some of the supportive housing buildings across Toronto include:
Services are to help them achieve housing stability and prevent them from a return to homelessness. A range of support and health services may be provided including:
The new homes with supports will be for people who were experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness including women, Indigenous residents, seniors, and people with disabilities. Future residents ot supportive homes will be identified and referred through the City’s Coordinated Access processes and people experiencing chronic homelessness will be prioritized. Coordinated Access is a consistent community-wide approach to assessing, prioritizing, and connecting people experiencing homelessness to housing and supports.
Tenants for these units will be identified using a prioritization-based approach to connect people to this permanent housing opportunity. There will be no direct referrals. The City will coordinate the tenant identification process in partnership with street outreach, shelter, 24-hour respite, and hotel/motel program providers. A common assessment is used to understand the types and level of supports clients will need to maintain housing stability. The City will work with the selected non-profit housing operators to ensure tenants are connected with supports that best meet their needs. Consideration is given to the type and intensity of support and client choice in regard to their housing preferences.