Canada supports Rapid Housing Initiative in Toronto  

Ahmed Hussen

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced  on Friday details of an approximately $14 million investment through the Major Cities Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) for the immediate construction of 51 affordable low-rise apartment homes in Toronto.

These 51 homes will be part of innovative and cost-effective modular supportive housing build located at 150 Dunn Avenue in Parkdale for those who are exiting or at risk of homelessness, with a focus on seniors, women and racialized persons, says a new release from office of  the minister.

 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 it notes.

This project is delivered in partnership with all levels of government, the University Health Network (UHN) Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine and the United Way of Greater Toronto (UWGT). The support services model for this site will be developed by University Health Network (UHN) Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine, the City of Toronto and community partners.

It will incorporate a range of health and social services to be delivered onsite. Through this partnership with UHN, residents will also be connected to primary care and other health services within the hospital’s Parkdale campus.

“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, said Minister Hussen.

“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,” the Minister  noted.

“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.” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

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. Investments made under the RHI are expected to support thousands of construction-related jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

These homes will remain affordable in perpetuity and future residents of these homes will pay no more than 30 per cent of their income (or the shelter allowance of their income support benefit) on rent.