Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, on National Housing Day, announced the opening of 57 new permanent, rent-geared-to-income (RGI) modular homes with wraparound supports (customized 24/7 support services provided on site) at 39 Dundalk Dr. for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“National Housing Day recognizes the vital work done by housing partners, including providers, across Canada to improve access to safe, adequate and affordable housing for everyone. Supportive housing is critical to addressing chronic homelessness. Projects like the modular homes at 39 Dundalk Dr. reflect the importance of combining an affordable home with the right supports to help people who are exiting homelessness stay housed and improve their lives. This kind of partnership between the federal, provincial and municipal governments, in collaboration with non-profit housing providers, is what we need more of in Toronto,” said Chow.

Residents will begin moving into their new homes at 39 Dundalk Dr. – which began construction in 2022 – at the end of this month. The building will be operated by Homes First Society, a non-profit housing organization with expertise in providing affordable, stable housing and support services to people who have experienced chronic homelessness. Tenants will pay rent based on their incomes and have access to experienced staff in the building 24/7, consisting of professionals who are trained to support residents exiting homelessness to improve their health and wellbeing.

(City of Toronto)

“Our government’s historic increase to the Homelessness Prevention Program is providing much-needed support to the City of Toronto and municipalities across the province. Today is National Housing Day, which is a chance to reiterate our commitment to build more homes of all types across Ontario. Supportive and affordable housing is a key part of that plan, as is the use of modular housing and other innovative solutions that use high-speed homebuilding to help people find homes faster,” said Rob Flack, Associate Minister of Housing, Province of Ontario.

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The 57 new homes will be private studio apartments with a kitchenette and a bathroom including 20 barrier-free homes. The new building will also have common amenities for residents including a laundry room, dining and communal areas, an outdoor patio and garden, as well as administrative offices and a commercial kitchen that will provide on-site meals for residents.

“The federal government will always step up to support those in need of affordable and supportive housing from coast to coast to coast. By creating more affordable housing like the ones here at 39 Dundalk Dr., we are moving towards a fairer society where everyone can have adequate housing. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard for this project and I hope the new residents find great happiness in their new homes,” said Salma Zahid, MP for Scarborough Centre.

This project is the result of a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City combining approximately $4.275 million in federal capital funding, approximately $2 million in annual provincial operating funding for support services and municipal capital funding, land and project delivery. TCHC owns the land for this project that has been unlocked for development through a lease between TCHC and the City.

“Homes First is excited to have been chosen as the operator of the new program located at 39 Dundalk, which adds 57 greatly needed units of supportive housing into the system. Individuals who were formerly experiencing homelessness will now have a home and access to 24-hour staff, specialized case managers available throughout the week, along with an on-site cook and full meal program,” said Patricia Mueller, CEO, Homes First Society.

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The City’s use of modular housing has been successful to date. Since launching in April 2020, seven sites are completed or underway across Toronto, for a total of almost 400  modular homes. A total of 216 modular homes have been completed at four sites: 11 Macey Ave., 321 Dovercourt Rd., 540 Cedarvale Ave. and 39 Dundalk Dr.

“Modular housing can be an effective way to get people housing sooner. Providing the residents at 39 Dundalk Dr. access to supportive staff around the clock will be crucial to their health and well-being and help them stay housed. We need to continue to work across sectors and across orders of government on all solutions that address the housing challenges in Toronto,” said Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), chair of the Planning and Housing Committee.

Featured image: 57 new permanent, rent-geared-to-income (RGI) modular homes with wraparound supports at 39 Dundalk Dr. for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. (City of Toronto)

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