Today, Mayor John Tory alongside the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport) and Councillor Robin Buxton Potts (Toronto Centre), announced the opening of 24 new affordable homes with supports at 292-296 Parliament St. These homes will be dedicated to people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including families and older adults.
This initiative is part of the work that the City of Toronto is doing to create new affordable homes with supports to ensure everyone has a safe place to call home, and since 2020 the City of Toronto has led the development of almost 1,000 new supportive homes at 12 locations across the city.
The building on Parliament Street includes large self-contained studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, each with a bathroom and a kitchen. It also has amenities such as shared laundry, communal areas and programming spaces.
The building is operated by an experienced non-profit housing provider, St. Jude Community Homes (SJCH), who will ensure 24/7 support are provided for tenants. SJCH will provide a range of services for tenants including support for mental health and well-being, meal programs and on-site support services.
SJCH operates three existing buildings located in close proximity to 292-296 Parliament St. and has a deep understanding of the community, including a strong familiarity with the network of service agencies in the neighbourhood. SJCH will be partnering with COTA and several other downtown east community organizations to provide additional housing support services at 292-296 Parliament St. Permanent affordable homes with supports are needed across Toronto, including in the Downtown East, to create safe, healthy and inclusive communities.
The City acquired the property at 292-296 Parliament St. in 2021 and undertook renovations to convert the building into safe, permanent affordable homes. This project received capital funding from the federal government under Phase 1 of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). RHI funding allows the City to effectively respond to the urgent need for more affordable and supportive housing by providing a rapid, dignified response that connects people experiencing and at risk of homelessness with homes and appropriate supports to help them achieve stability. Recently, the Government of Ontario committed to provide $27 million in operating funding for the support services that will be delivered at the City’s new supportive homes, including this location. The creation of 24 new permanent supportive homes at 292-296 Parliament St. showcases the necessity for all levels of government to work together to address homelessness in Toronto.
The Rapid Housing Initiative is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, under the National Housing Strategy. The Initiative was launched in October 2020 to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, especially in the context of COVID-19, through the rapid construction of affordable and supportive housing. A second Phase of RHI was announced in July, 2021. Across Phase 1 and 2, the City has received more than $400 million to create almost 1,000 new affordable and supportive homes. Due to this success, an additional $1.5 billion for the RHI was announced through Budget 2021.
This is just one of the ways that the City is addressing the need for more affordable housing options in Toronto. The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan targets the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes with 18,000 supportive homes, including 1,000 modular homes, to help increase housing stability for Toronto residents over the next 10 years. More information about the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan is available at Toronto.ca/HousingTO.
“We are continuing to get more affordable supportive housing built. We’re proud to open 292-296 Parliament St. and provide 24 affordable homes for Toronto families. This project is possible through our strong partnership with the federal and provincial governments. I am committed to continuing to work with these governments to get more housing built so that we continue to provide some of our most vulnerable residents with safe and affordable places to call home.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Breaking a cycle of homelessness means that there are fewer people struggling to survive outside. Supportive affordable housing projects such as 292-296 Parliament St. are crucial to connecting people to the supports they need. Safe and affordable housing improves people’s health, well-being, and economic stability and we can’t wait to welcome our new tenants to their new homes.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Housing and Planning Committee
“Affordable supportive housing is not just a space to live in, it’s a caring and nurturing community that provides 24/7 holistic supports to tenants. In this way we can ensure that tenants can improve their health, well-being, and overall quality of life while having stability in their housing. I’m excited to start welcoming new tenants to the new supportive community at 292-296 Parliament St.”
– Councillor Robin Buxton Potts (Toronto Centre)
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, our government is ensuring that those who need it most in Toronto are given housing and the supports they need to thrive. This is one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure no one is left behind.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion
“Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we’re investing in affordable housing, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for those who need it most. Thanks to today’s announcement, members of our community earning a lower income now have access to more affordable places to call home.”
– The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre
“An affordable, safe, and supportive place to call home is essential for people’s health and wellness. It is wonderful to have the City of Toronto partner with other levels of government to make this project possible. St. Jude Community Homes is very pleased to collaborate with the City of Toronto, COTA Health, and other downtown east community partners to provide high-quality homes and supportive services for the new tenants. We need many more projects like this to end homelessness for people experiencing mental health and addiction issues.”
– Carol Zoulalian, Executive Director, St. Jude Community Homes
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