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.
The number of people actively experiencing homelessness in Toronto continues to grow. 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 and achieve long-term housing stability.
Approximately 10,400 supportive housing units are administered or funded by the City of Toronto 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 individuals achieve housing stability and prevent a return to homelessness. A range of support and health services may be provided including:
Homes with supports are for people who were experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness including women, Indigenous residents, seniors and people with disabilities. Future residents of supportive homes will be identified and referred through the City’s Coordinated Access processes, with priority given to people experiencing chronic homelessness. Coordinated Access is a consistent community-wide approach to assessing, prioritizing and connecting people experiencing homelessness to housing and supports.
Tenants for supportive homes will be identified using a prioritization-based approach to connect people to permanent housing opportunities. There are no direct referrals. The City will coordinate the tenant identification process in partnership with street outreach, shelter and 24-hour respite 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 providers 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.
Generally, each supportive home is a self-contained studio apartment with a bathroom and a kitchen. While emergency shelter programs are open to anyone in housing crisis and are intended for short term stays, supportive housing is permanent housing.
Tenants selected for supportive housing will have an assessment of their individual needs completed to understand the types and level of supports they will need to maintain housing stability. The City’s Coordinated Access team works closely with housing providers to ensure that the supports available on-site are the right match for the tenants being referred.
Occupants will be permanent tenants, with rights and responsibilities, and tenants will choose to move into supportive housing because they want to make it their home and be part of the community in the long term.