Construction now underway of 51 new modular affordable supportive homes in Parkdale
The City of Toronto and its community partners have been awarded $201.5 million in funding through Phase Two of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to create more than 400 new affordable and supportive homes in Toronto.
Mayor John Tory was joined by Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair, Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to make the announcement. Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of the University Health Network (UHN) and Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Toronto (UWGT) were also in attendance.
With Phase Two funding announced today, the City has now received a total of almost $440 million through the RHI program to create more than 1,000 new homes within a year. In the first phase of RHI in late 2020, Toronto was allocated more than $238 million to create more than 600 new affordable rental homes.
Mayor Tory announced the Phase Two funding during the ground-breaking for 51 new affordable supportive homes that are part of the first phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative. Toronto is building modular housing at 150 Dunn Ave. that will provide affordable homes for more than 50 people while supporting their health and well-being. The new homes will be dedicated to seniors, women, Indigenous residents, racialized people, people with disabilities and other individuals who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This site showcases tri-government collaboration – combining federal capital funding, provincial support to expedite the development through a Minister’s Zoning Order, and municipal project delivery – and partnership with the hospital and social service sector, who have provided the land and healthcare expertise.
This social medicine modular housing initiative is the first of its kind in Canada and is being delivered in partnership with all orders of government, UHN, Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine and UWGT.
Funding through Phase Two of RHI will support the creation of at least 427 new permanent affordable and supportive homes in Toronto through the acquisition of land and the conversion and/or rehabilitation of existing buildings to affordable housing, as well as modular and traditional construction. The funding will be prioritized for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and the City will provide 27 per cent of its funding allocation to Indigenous-led organizations. In addition, the City has committed to allocating more than 40 per cent to women-led households.
Phase Two of RHI funding will advance the 24-month COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Recovery Response Plan aimed to deliver 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. The City is now on track to exceed its target and create more than 3,300 new supportive and affordable housing opportunities by the end of 2022 for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
RHI is a federal capital funding program which 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.
The City has set an ambitious target of approving 18,000 new supportive homes over ten 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.
“Toronto is now on track to exceed its target in 2022 by creating more than 3,300 new and affordable homes for people and families who are facing homelessness. We are working as fast and as hard as we can to provide deeply affordable housing, with adequate wrap-around social and health supports, because that is the key to ending chronic homelessness. The Dunn Avenue site under construction now shows that when governments work together with our healthcare partners and community organizations, we can get housing built that helps people experiencing homelessness in months not years. I’m committed to continuing this progress on housing and working with our partners to get more housing built as soon as possible.”
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Our government’s funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative is resulting in the quick creation of over 1000 homes for individuals and families in need in Toronto. Through the National Housing Strategy, we will continue to support Canadians in need and ensure no one is left behind.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion
“Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our government is investing in affordable housing here in Toronto and across Canada to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most. Thanks to today’s announcement, low-income members of my community of Parkdale-High Park now have access to affordable homes.”
– Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park
“As a city, we need to leverage all available funding from other orders of government to create homes with support services for the most vulnerable residents living here. The City is grateful for the participation of our non-profit partners in preparing applications for funding from CMHC under this round of the Rapid Housing Initiative. The successful delivery of the City’s HousingTO Plan requires the strong and supported commitment of the non-profit and Indigenous housing sectors, and they are a key part of the City’s success in securing the funding announced today.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“Our community in Parkdale-High Park looks forward to welcoming new neighbours in 2022 as they move into their new homes with supports at 150 Dunn Ave., and thanks the federal government for their investment in helping make this project a reality. This is a great example of what is possible when the community and local partners work together with a single vision.”
– Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park)
“It is very exciting to see this first-of-its-kind Social Medicine Supportive Housing project take shape. UHN is proud to partner with the City of Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto to develop a new concept of housing that will truly support residents with complex social and health needs. Our UHN vision to build a Healthier World can only be accomplished by addressing the social determinants of health and looking for innovative solutions to bridge the gaps in our health care system. We are very thankful to all the teams working tirelessly in communities to develop this new model of care and to the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto for funding this project.”
– Kevin Smith, President & CEO, University Health Network
“We are enormously proud to partner with all orders of government and University Health Network in this ground-breaking – literally and figuratively – initiative. Since the Social Medicine Initiative was first announced, United Way Greater Toronto has been engaging with agencies and the community members they serve. It is critical to leverage community expertise and lived experience, and ensure that we approach housing and social supports with people at the centre, using equity as our guiding principle.”
– Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO, United Way Greater Toronto
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