The City of Toronto and the federal government announced a funding allocation for 43 deeply affordable supportive homes as part of the third phase of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a capital funding program that helps create new affordable and supportive rental housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

This funding allocation will support non-profit and public-led housing developments, including:
•       7 Vanauley St., led by YMCA of Greater Toronto
•       393 Dundas St. E., led by St. Jude Community Homes (SJCH)

“The City of Toronto is dedicated to improving housing affordability and building more supportive homes. We’re working with all orders of government and not-for-profit partners to get more housing built faster. Projects like 7 Vanauley St. and 393 Dundas St. E. demonstrate how we can partner to quickly build stable, supportive housing for people who need it. Our ambitious housing plan aims to build thousands of affordable homes by working with non-profits. We’re ready to build even more,” said Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow.

“As we invest in building more affordable housing, we cannot forget about those most vulnerable in our society. This is why, through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we are making investments to ensure that Canadians here in Toronto and across the country have access to safe and affordable housing that meets their needs. This means working with partners like the City of Toronto to make sure that people battling addiction, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, Black and racialized people, people with disabilities and women and children fleeing gender-based violence have a safe place to call home. While today’s announcement marks an important step forward, we know there is more work ahead to solve this issue,” said Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth.

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The YMCA of Greater Toronto – an experienced non-profit housing provider – will develop and operate the project at 7 Vanauley St., which will be known as The Wagner Green YMCA. The building will include 31 new homes dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The new homes will be offered as Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) homes with no tenant paying more than 30 per cent of their income or the shelter allowance of their income support benefit on rent.

The new homes will be operated as supportive housing by the YMCA, which will provide a range of services for tenants, including support for housing stability, mental health and well-being, and other on-site support services.

The building will include amenity spaces for tenants, and each of the homes will include private studio apartments with a kitchenette and bathroom.

“Affordable housing is critically important and essential to our city’s well-being. Our charity is thrilled to expand the transitional housing we provide for 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said  Lesley Davidson, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto.

SJCH – an experienced non-profit housing and support services provider – will develop and operate the project at 393 Dundas St. E. The building will include 12 new homes dedicated to people experiencing homelessness. It will be offered as RGI homes with no tenant paying more than 30 per cent of their income or the shelter allowance of their income support benefit on rent.

The new homes will be operated as supportive housing by SJCH, providing 24/7 on-site staffing and a range of mental health, housing stability and well-being services and community development programs.

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These homes will be private studio apartments with a kitchenette and bathroom, as well as amenity spaces for tenants.

“At St. Jude Community Homes, we understand that addressing homelessness requires a fundamental solution: the creation of deeply affordable homes with essential supports. We are honored to work with the City of Toronto and Government of Canada and The Tawse Family Charitable Foundation to fulfill this crucial need for supportive housing. Through our collaborative efforts, we are poised to continue with positive changes for our community and the opportunity to help transform the lives of the individuals who will call it home,” said Carol Zoulalian, executive director, SJCH.

RHI is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the National Housing Strategy. RHI has been critical in scaling up the supply of supportive homes in Toronto and is one of the key strategies to addressing Toronto’s homelessness crisis.

To date, the City, along with Indigenous and non-profit partners, has received almost $440 million in capital grant funding through the RHI, with over 1,000 homes completed or underway. The 7 Vanauley St. and 393 Dundas St. E. projects received more than $16 million in capital funding from the federal government. The City has also committed more than $7.8 million in funding and financial incentives, including waivers of development charges and planning and building fees, and annual property tax exemptions for at least 40 years.

Featured image: (Government of Canada)


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