Feds kick in $201 million for affordable housing in Toronto

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

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.

“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, said Mayor John Tory, speaking at the Dunn Avenue site of an affordable housing project under construction.

“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.”

Described as a “social medicine modular housing initiative”, the project is supported by a Minister’s Zoning Order, is a partnership with the hospital and social service sector and 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 city has set a target of approving 18,000 new supportive homes over ten years in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.

“It is very exciting to see this first-of-its-kind Social Medicine Supportive Housing project take shape,” said Kevin Smith, President & CEO, University Health Network.

“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.”

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