Today, Mayor John Tory was joined by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport; James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore; and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair, to announce seven new affordable and supportive housing developments, as part of Phase Two of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).
In total, these seven projects will create 260 new affordable and supportive homes in Toronto and will grow the capacity and expertise of Toronto’s non-profit housing development sector. The projects being announced today are being led by:
RHI funding will enable the rapid creation of new supportive and affordable homes, and two-thirds of the homes also will provide wraparound support services and be prioritized for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Two projects being led by Wigwamen and Akwa Honsta will create 86 deeply affordable homes for Indigenous peoples and reflect the City of Toronto’s earlier commitment to allocate more than 20 per cent of its total RHI Phase 2 funding to Indigenous-led developments. In addition, more than 40 per cent of the new homes will be prioritized for women-led households.
In addition to capital funding through RHI, the City has applied its Open Door program incentives to these projects, providing relief to Indigenous and non-profit partners from development charges, planning and building fees and, subject to Toronto City Council approval, will waive property taxes for the duration of affordability, in most cases for more than 40 years. The City is also supporting the rapid delivery of these sites through the Concept 2 Keys programs’ priority development review program.
These projects will advance the 24-month COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Recovery Response Plan aimed at delivering 3,000 new affordable and supportive rental homes, including 2,000 supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and 1,000 housing benefits by the end of 2022.
RHI is a federal capital funding program that aims to rapidly create new affordable rental housing for marginalized people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The second phase of RHI was announced by the Government of Canada on June 29, 2021, which provided an opportunity for the City and non-profit community partners to submit an investment plan for funding consideration. Within RHI program parameters, the City worked with local indigenous and non-profit housing partners to submit an application for funding.
The City has set an ambitious target of approving 18,000 new supportive homes over 10 years in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. Today’s announcement includes new capital funding for supportive housing projects that will support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to achieve housing stability and begin improving their health and well-being.
“I am committed to getting more housing built. These seven projects announced today demonstrate how our governments and community partners are working together to get more housing built as soon as possible. Supporting Indigenous-led housing projects and creating new supportive and affordable homes is an important part of the affordable housing strategy in our HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan and I look forward to seeing these projects get up and running.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, and the pandemic only exacerbated the real housing challenges people were facing. That’s why the Rapid Housing Initiative was created – to support those most vulnerable across Canada, including right here in Toronto. These new homes will provide stability and safety to their residents and are another way our National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
“The City is grateful for all available funding from other orders of government to create homes with support services for the most vulnerable residents living in Toronto. With the help of our non-profit partners, we are on track to achieve our target of 18,000 new supportive homes over 10 years in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our federal government is investing in safe, affordable and supportive housing here in Davenport and across Canada. This program helps to reduce chronic homelessness and ensure that more Canadians have a place to call home. There is more work to do, and I remain committed to working with my colleagues and the community to create more affordable and accessible homes in Toronto, improving the quality of life for those who need it most. This is our National Housing Strategy in action.”
– Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport
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