Today, the City of Toronto opened its first modular, supportive housing building.
After less than eight months from Council approval to occupancy, the building at 11 Macey Ave., part of the City’s Modular Housing Initiative, is opening today. The City of Toronto is also getting ready to open its second modular, supportive housing building at 150 Harrison St. for a total of 100 new affordable, supportive homes within the next several weeks.
The new homes will house individuals exiting the shelter system and complements the City’s 2020-21 winter service plan to ensure safe and welcoming places for people experiencing homelessness during the winter weather.
The building at 11 Macey Ave. has 56 studio apartments and the building at 150 Harrison St. has 44 studio apartments. Each building is three-storeys high and will include a common room, dining room, program space and administrative offices.
The Neighbourhood Group and COTA Health were selected to operate and provide support services at both locations. The operators will provide 24/7 on-site staffing and will offer a number of supports to tenants, including:
A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) has already been established and will be continued by the operators. The goal of the CLC is to foster and maintain positive relationships, information sharing and dialogue between the building operators, the residents and the broader community.
Modular housing is high-quality housing built in a factory-controlled setting and transported to the site for assembly. Each home is approximately 300 square feet and comes with a built-in kitchen (including a stove top), microwave and fridge. The homes are furnished with a twin bedframe and mattress, a lounge chair, dining table and chairs and a dresser. Twenty-five per cent of the homes are accessible.
High resolution images and b-roll of the new housing can be found in the City’s online Media Room
The City’s Modular Housing Initiative will see 250 new homes built in two phases. The first 100 homes are Phase I. In Phase II, the City will deliver an additional 150 supportive homes in 2021. The full capital cost for the 250 homes is $47.5 million. Funding of $28.75 million is coming from the City’s Development Charges Reserve Fund for Subsidized Housing, and $18.75 million is from the Government of Canada through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund in grants and recoverable loans.
The City has requested operating funding for health-related support services and housing subsidies from the Province.
In addition to the Modular Housing Initiative, other programs will help create even more modular supportive housing in 2021. As part of the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), the City has been allocated $203.3 million to create a minimum of 417 new permanent affordable homes. The RHI can cover the cost of acquisition of land and construction of modular housing; acquisition of land and existing buildings for the purpose of conversion to affordable housing; and acquisition of land and rehabilitation of housing.
The Modular Housing Initiative is one component of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, which currently has more than 65 projects underway that will add almost 9,000 new permanent affordable rental homes once completed. More information about the plan is available online
“We have worked to be able to quickly welcome 56 residents to their brand-new home with support services. The City’s Modular Housing Initiative is an innovative and cost-effective way in which we are building affordable housing while providing a quick, long-term response to help those experiencing homelessness. A big component of our housing plan is to invest in and create more supportive housing options which will help ensure that people are able to get the services they need. We know we need to build housing options quickly, modular housing is an innovative way for us to speed up the process and provide housing stability for residents across this city. ”
– Mayor John Tory
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Rapid housing ensures more Canadians have access to an affordable home that meets their needs as quickly as possible. Our government is a proud partner in this initiative because we know that by building more quickly, we can address the urgent housing needs of some of the most vulnerable Canadians.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“This is an extraordinary and innovative project that will help a lot of people as they transition into their new lives. It’s not just about a home, it’s about communities combining their strengths to provide important resources to residents. To all those moving in, ‘welcome home’.”
– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest
“I am thrilled to welcome home the new residents to 11 Macey Ave. – because without a home – that is safe and affordable – nothing else matters. The most visible and distressing need for housing is for people who are living day-to-day in shelters, on our streets, in our parks and on the edges of our city. These new homes will have a real impact for the people who live here.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair
“On behalf of the entire community I extend a very warm welcome to the new residents of 11 Macey Ave. Providing permanent, affordable rental housing with support services on-site will help people to move out of the shelter system and off the streets. The modular housing initiative is an excellent example of how we are quickly and innovatively delivering comprehensive solutions to reduce homelessness close to home and across the city.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Budget Committee Chair
“The Neighbourhood Group (TNG) is very excited to be part of the City’s solution to affordable and supportive housing. TNG works in various neighbourhoods across the city and we look forward to engaging our neighbours and working with our partner Cota in making this project successful. A very warm welcome to our residents at 11 Macey Ave., we look forward to getting to know you.”
– Bill Sinclair, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Neighbourhood Group
“Cota applauds the City in creating new permanent affordable housing at 11 Macey Ave. using this rapid modular housing construction method. We look forward to working with The Neighbourhood Group and local residents to welcome these tenants to their new home and neighbourhood. We are confident that this initiative will be successful in assisting people to achieve housing stability, thereby contributing to their wellness and ability to reach their full potential.”
– Paul Bruce, Chief Executive Officer, COTA Health
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