Today, Mayor Olivia Chow, Council Speaker Frances Nunziata (York South-Weston) and Angus Palmer, General Manager of Wigwamen Inc., announced the purchase of an 11-unit residential building on Hotspur Road and celebrated the purchase and operation of a 12-unit building on Keele Street.
The two sites were acquired through the City’s Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition Program (MURA), which allows non-profit housing providers such as Wigwamen Inc. to quickly acquire affordable rental housing, improve building conditions and protect Toronto’s existing housing stock. These homes will be secured as affordable housing for at least 99 years.
With support from the City and Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC), Wigwamen Inc. has completed renovations on eight homes at the Keele Street location and anticipates completing renovations on the remaining homes by early 2024. Wigwamen Inc. will also make building improvements at the Hotspur Road site in the coming months.
The City continues to seek opportunities to expand the MURA Program. Immediate additional funding of $22.4 million from other orders of government and philanthropists would enable the City to advance five additional approved proposals, securing 129 more permanently affordable rental homes.
More about the MURA Program
The MURA Program provides funding to not-for-profit housing providers to preserve existing affordable rental housing stock to help achieve the City’s target to approve 47,500 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes and a minimum of 2,500 rent-geared-to-income homes. Since its 2021 launch, the MURA Program has provided funding to not-for-profit agencies to secure approximately 261 permanently affordable homes in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
Twenty per cent of MURA Program homes will be tenanted by households on the City’s Centralized Waiting List for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing, who will be provided with monthly housing benefits.
To further Toronto’s commitment to truth, justice and reconciliation, a minimum of 20 per cent of the annual MURA Program funding allocation is dedicated to support acquisitions by Indigenous housing organizations for Indigenous peoples. Two of the five non-profit housing agencies that received 2023 MURA funding are Indigenous, with proposals representing 33 homes. To date, 30 per cent of MURA Program funding has been allocated to support the acquisition of 45 affordable rental homes by Indigenous housing groups.
More information about the MURA Program is available on the City’s website.
“Everyone deserves a safe home that they can afford. The MURA Program, in partnership with valued non-profit housing providers like Wigwamen Inc., can protect and improve affordable housing for Toronto residents for generations to come. I remain committed to expanding the MURA Program, so that we can secure more much-needed affordable homes. This is the fastest way to secure affordable housing – which the city is losing 14 times faster than we’re building. We need other orders of government to work alongside us and our partners, the non-profits and land trusts that are acquiring these homes, so that we can keep them affordable and give people more opportunities to find housing they can afford.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“Working alongside Wigwamen Inc., the City of Toronto is demonstrating that together we can quickly secure, improve and maintain affordable housing for Toronto residents. The housing crisis in Toronto is real and we need solutions now. We need everyone at the table to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Toronto residents who are struggling to find a safe and decent place to call home.”
– Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“I am delighted that Wigwamen Inc. has secured these homes on Keele Street through the City’s MURA program. While we continue to build new homes, we also need to protect our existing housing stock. The MURA Program is a vital tool to address the housing crisis and foster more livable neighborhoods that benefit everyone.”
– Councillor Frances Nunziata (York South-Weston)
“I am very proud of what we have already achieved through the MURA Program to secure housing for Toronto residents. This program benefits all of us by preserving existing affordable rental housing and helping to revitalize our neighbourhoods. I look forward to having more affordable housing secured across the city through the MURA Program, in partnership with organizations like Wigwamen Inc. and all orders of government.”
– Councillor Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence)
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with the City of Toronto to protect affordable rental housing in our neighbourhoods. It is our privilege to work collaboratively with the residents here to improve the quality of their homes and we look forward to the connections we will build with residents at our newest location on Hotspur. As Ontario’s oldest and largest urban Indigenous housing provider, this is a good opportunity to celebrate our past successes, our current work and what we know we will accomplish together in the future.”
– Angus Palmer, General Manager, Wigwamen Inc.
“The Indigenous set-aside of the MURA Program by the City of Toronto addresses the need for continued investments in long-term affordable housing opportunities for our urban Indigenous community. MBDC gratefully acknowledges the City of Toronto and their on-going support in ensuring affordable existing housing stock is not lost, but rather secured for our future generations.”
– Lorna Lawrence, Executive Director, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation
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