Today, Mayor John Tory announced the first supportive housing development as part of the City of Toronto’s innovative partnership with University Health Network (UHN) Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine and United Way of Greater Toronto (UWGT). The proposed, new four-storey modular building will house approximately 51 individuals exiting or at risk of homelessness, with a focus on seniors, women, Indigenous Peoples and racialized persons. It is anticipated that the homes will be ready for occupancy in spring 2022. The building will be located on UHN land in Parkdale, on what is now the south parking lot for UHN’s EW Bickle Centre for Complex Continuing Care.
Mayor Tory was joined for the virtual announcement by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park; Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair; and Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale High Park).
About 7,800 people in Toronto are currently experiencing homelessness and the City is working non-stop to provide safe indoor housing. To respond to this urgent need, the City is proposing modular supportive housing as an innovative and cost-effective way to build new homes at this location. Modular supportive housing provides a rapid, dignified response to connect people experiencing and at risk of homelessness with homes and appropriate supports to help them achieve housing stability.
This project is delivered in partnership with all orders of government, UHN Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine and UWGT. The support services model for this site will be developed by UHN Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine, the City and community partners. It will incorporate a range of health and social services to be delivered on site. Through this partnership with UHN, residents will also be connected to primary care and other health services within the hospital’s Parkdale campus.
Local residents will have an opportunity to learn more about this project and to provide input into design elements during an upcoming virtual community engagement session on June 16. Details on how to participate in this process are being delivered to local residents and are also available on the project’s website .
The capital costs of the homes at 150 Dunn Ave. are being funded through the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). As part of the RHI’s 2021 Major Cities Stream, the City has been allocated $203.3 million to create approximately 540 new affordable homes. Delivered by CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), RHI provides capital contributions to develop new, permanent affordable housing by covering costs associated with modular, multi-unit rental construction; conversion of non-residential to affordable, multi-residential homes; and, rehabilitation of buildings in disrepair and/or abandoned to affordable, multi-residential homes. The project has also secured the City’s Open Door Program incentives.
Modular supportive housing is just one of the ways in which the City is addressing the need for more affordable housing options in Toronto. The City’s 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 online .
“The new modular homes with supports planned for 150 Dunn Ave. are so much more than just a place to live. These are homes within a vibrant and welcoming community that will improve the health and well-being of those who will live there, as well as the surrounding community. Thanks to our strong partnership with the other governments and this very unique partnership with UHN, United Way Greater Toronto and their community partners, we can deliver a new model of care that responds to the unique needs of residents and will make a real difference in their lives. I look forward to opening these new supportive housing units for residents very soon.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Our Government is taking steps, right now, to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Our investments will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable Canadians in Toronto, while addressing the unique barriers faced by at-risk communities, including seniors and racialized Canadians. The Rapid Housing Initiative has been a tremendous success – that’s why through Budget 2021, we will increase our total program funding to $2.5 billion in order to rapidly build much-needed affordable homes across Canada. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“Our Government is working hard to ensure that housing is available, safe and affordable for all. Investments with our municipal and provincial partners under the Rapid Housing Initiative’s Major Cities Stream are critical in communities like Parkdale, because they quickly create new affordable and safe homes for vulnerable people, including newcomers, seniors and racialized communities.”
– Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park
“We are a city that cares and a city dedicated to improving the quality of life for all our residents. This new social medicine model will help ensure that some of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our city get the housing and supports that they deserve.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“Parkdale is a community that embraces and supports everyone. We welcome this development, which will expand supportive housing in Parkdale.”
– Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale High Park)
“We know that our most frequent users of hospital services are those without stable, safe housing and are in need of home-based services. Approximately 230 individuals represent more than 15,000 visits to UHN’s Emergency Departments because they don’t have access to better alternatives. This first-in-Canada initiative by UHN, made possible through partnerships with the City of Toronto and United Way of Greater Toronto, will make a meaningful difference in the lives of those most in need – a need which has been made even more urgent and apparent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City for these needed investments.”
– Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO, University Health Network
“To lift people out of poverty, communities need affordable housing and access to social services. These homes with supports are a strong example of the social service sector’s role in community health. Government partners have shown incredible leadership with this investment, made even stronger by working with healthcare, community partners and local residents.”
– Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO, United Way Greater Toronto
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