Sky-high prices raise affordable housing needs

City moves ahead with modular housing initiative

Rendering of modular building
Preliminary artist rendering of modular building at Trenton and Cedarvale avenuies. City of Toronto

The city has been going forward with a plan to support affordable homes across the city after councillors overwhelmingly voted in favour of a modular housing initiative.

The project is meant to address the housing issues the city faces. As many as 1,000 modular units are planned to be built across Toronto as a part of the HousingTO 10-year action plan.

Prices and sales of homes in Toronto have been going u, and hitting record highs in 2020. This follows a record setting 2019 and has been increasing at the rate of the housing market of 2016, raising concerns of a housing bubble pop.

“We know that we have a housing crisis in Toronto. It’s never been more clear than during a pandemic,” said Brad Bradford, city councillor of ward 19 and member of the Planning and Housing Committee.

“We need to do more to build permanent, supportive housing in our city to help people get back on their feet,” Bradford said. “Our shelter services do incredible work, and we need to support that by creating a clear path for people who are down on their luck to exit homelessness and have the supports in place that they need to stay off the streets.”

Toronto’s homeless population has increased and the pandemic has only made that situation worse along with leaving many financially insecure with fears of being eviction.

“We have an urgent need for affordable housing in Toronto and the pandemic heightened that.”

Councillor Brad Bradford

Housing prices in the city are increasing by more than three times the average household income. Affordable housing is necessary with this increasing gap to combat an impending housing crisis. A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that renters would need to make $27.74 per hour to afford a one-bedroom in Toronto, There are no neighbourhoods in the GTA where a full minimum wage worker can afford a modest one- or two- bedroom home.

“We have an urgent need for affordable housing in Toronto and the pandemic heightened that,” Bradford said. “Building permanent housing will relieve pressure off of our shelter system and get people experiencing homelessness the supports that they need. We also need to challenge our assumptions of who will be in these units. To be clear – this is not a shelter.”

Residents of the Trenton and Cedarvale avenue area said they had safety concerns and were vocal about their opposition to allow politicians to go ahead with a project and bypass community consultation. They also say that the Trenton and Cedatvale area may not be the most appropriate place for the building.

“I can certainly understand some of the questions and concerns around this project. The roll-out for the proposal did not go well,” Bradford said. “Local residents and stakeholders were not informed, signs weren’t put up, and people felt blindsided.”

Input and engagement from the community is critical to make sure we get it right, Bradford said.

“Feedback from our community meetings has already been threaded into the process, with more analysis being done on the parking concerns and a Community Liaison Committee being set-up to formalize this input.”

You can join the process by visiting the City’s Modular Housing Strategy page. Recordings of past meetings and dates for future meetings can be found on the page, as well as contacts for Councillor Bradford and the Community Liaison Office.

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Posted: Mar 24 2021 10:15 pm
Filed under: News