The City of Toronto welcomed the onsite delivery and craning in of the first modules that will become new permanent supportive homes for 57 individuals experiencing homelessness.

Modular Housing is one of the ways the City is making progress toward meeting the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan’s target of approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes. Currently, there are almost 150 city-led and/or City-supported affordable housing projects in the City’s development pipeline. Some of these include large, multi-phase developments. Once completed, these projects will deliver over 20,000 affordable rental and supportive homes.

“We thank the federal and provincial governments for their significant partnerships to date, and we look forward to growing that partnership with both the federal and provincial governments so that we can fulfil the targets set out in the 2023 Housing Action Plan and support all current and future residents in our growing city,” said Mayor John Tory.

Building on these objectives, the 2023 tabled budget, includes over $616 million in direct support for housing initiatives.

“We are committed to taking bold, tangible action to address the affordability and housing crises facing our city. Projects like this demonstrate one of the ways we are bringing in more housing, faster. The permanent and affordable homes that will be on this site will be of great benefit, providing not only safe and accessible housing, but also on-site supports for 57 individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York), chair of the Planning and Housing Committee.

When completed, the modular supportive housing building at 39 Dundalk Dr. will be operated by Homes First Society, a non-profit housing organization that provides affordable, stable housing and support services to break the cycle of homelessness.

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“Homes First is excited to have been selected as the operator of the new affordable supportive housing at 39 Dundalk, which adds 57 greatly needed homes with supports into the system. Individuals who were formerly homeless will now have a home, with 24-hour staff on hand, specialized case managers, and a full meal program,” said Patricia Mueller, CEO, Homes First Society.

The Dundalk Drive modular homes will provide good quality and deeply affordable homes that better meet the needs of residents who are residing at a hotel shelter adjacent to the Dundalk site. Residents will pay rent based on their incomes and have access to a private studio apartment (with a kitchen and a bathroom) and ample amenity spaces. This includes a commercial kitchen, laundry room, large programming spaces and office/support areas. Future residents will include women, Indigenous residents, seniors and persons with disabilities.

Left to right: City Councillor Michael Thompson; Mayor John Tory; City Councillor Brad Bradford; and Jamie Facciolo, Director of Development and Homelessness Initiatives, Homes First. (City of Toronto)

Modular construction provides a unique opportunity to respond rapidly to Toronto’s urgent need to create more permanent affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness while reducing pressure on the City’s emergency shelter system. Modular construction also supports the City’s climate change action, as these high-quality and energy-efficient homes are prefabricated in a factory and transported to the site, where they are assembled. The benefits of modular construction, compared to traditional construction, include speed, cost efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

The homes at this site are part of the second Phase of the Modular Housing Initiative (MHI), approved by City Council in April 2020 and funded through a partnership between the City and the federal government. This unique partnership allows the City to leverage land already within its portfolio for the purpose of building more affordable and supportive homes. The land at 39 Dundalk Dr. is owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and is subject to a lease between the City and TCHC.

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“The opening of supportive housing at 39 Dundalk Dr. assists in maintaining a healthy and thriving community in Scarborough. By working together and prioritizing the creation of more affordable homes, we can make significant progress in solving homelessness and building a more inclusive society for all,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre).

Featured image: (City of Toronto)

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