Two buildings in heart of city to house the vulnerable

With a billion-dollar fund, city introduces more affordable options within the housing market

To show a recent street view of 877 Yonge St.
One of the buildings bought by the city. Supporting residents for the next 99 odd years. (Google Maps Street View. Dated Sept., 2020) 

Mayor John Tory and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, have announced the city is buying two buildings, using a federal housing fund, to accommodate those in need.

“The housing we are announcing today will create a more well-rounded, full-service support system for vulnerable residents in our city,” Tory said in a news release following his announcement on April 15.

The project has involved all levels of government.

“I also want to thank the Government of Ontario for working with us,” Tory said. “Supportive housing has proven to work and is the type of housing we need to create for people in need of a stable, long-term and welcoming place to call home.”

One of the buildings launched is on 222 Spadina Ave. It overlooks Chinatown. (Google Maps Street View, October 2020)

One of the buildings is being remodelled using a 15-storey former retirement home at 877 Yonge St. Next month it is scheduled to accept 127 people, and by December it should have a total of 250 residents.

The other building is repurposing a three-floor hotel at 222 Spadina Ave. In December of this year, it will occupy 84 tenants.

Both building units are being purchased using the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI.) RHI will is offering $1 billion dollars in grant funding, to construct 3,000 permanent, low-cost rental units. The initiative will help secure housing for homeless members in Toronto, along with 20 per cent dedicated to Indigenous communities and 20 per cent to women and girls. Including support for seniors, youth and racialized communities.

The apartments are studio, one-bedroom and two bedroom studio sizes, with a functional kitchen and bathroom. They also come with shared amenities, like laundry facilities, community areas, and extra space for programs. Upon the arrival of new tenants, the building’s staff will offer support services and help residents find opportunities leading to future home ownership.

“The good news today is that … 4,700 families and individuals will be moving in to that housing and calling it home and putting and end to homelessness in their lives,” Parliamentary Secretary of Housing Adam Vaughan, who represents Spadina-Fort York riding, said of RHI in a Twitter video on March 19.

“Residents of these neighbourhoods understand the importance of supportive housing, of providing a caring and safe space for all people to live,” said University-Rosedale councillor Mike Layton, whose ward includes 877 Yonge St. “They’re ready to welcome these new neighbours, to work with the City and the operators to make this site a great home for them.”

In early April, Ontario provided $15.4 million to go towards supportive housing.

City Officials are taking several other measures of action to safely house those vulnerable, while also ensuring various needs are taken into account.

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Posted: Apr 17 2021 11:28 pm
Filed under: News