City of Toronto’s $34.39 Million Pledge: 68 New Homes for Vulnerable Residents
- Naomi Dela Cruz
- Eastern Canada
- November 21, 2023
Toronto– The City of Toronto, the Government of Canada, and Gabriel Dumont Non-Profit Homes (GDNP) have announced funding for a transformative affordable housing project. Mayor Olivia Chow, along with Councillor Paul Ainslie, the Honourable John McKay, and Crystal Samms, Chair of the Board at GDNP, gathered to reveal plans for the development of 68 new rent-geared-to-income (RGI) homes at 4201-4203 Kingston Rd. This initiative, a pivotal part of the third phase of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), represents a significant step towards addressing homelessness and providing affordable housing for Indigenous communities.
The project, spearheaded by GDNP, an Indigenous housing provider, exemplifies a paradigm shift in Toronto’s housing system, focusing on creating more public and non-profit-owned homes accessible to residents. The initiative aligns with the City’s commitment to meeting ambitious housing goals outlined in the “Generational Transformation of Toronto’s Housing System to Urgently Build More Affordable Homes” report adopted by City Council.
The development will consist of 68 one- and two-bedroom apartments, complete with amenity spaces designed for the well-being of tenants. These homes will be dedicated exclusively to Indigenous individuals who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Notably, the RGI model ensures that no tenant pays more than 30 per cent of their income or the shelter allowance of their income support benefit on rent, making the housing solution deeply affordable and sustainable.
The Rapid Housing Initiative, delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the National Housing Strategy, has been instrumental in scaling up the supply of supportive homes in Toronto. The 4201-4203 Kingston Rd. project received a substantial $28.1 million in capital funding from the federal government, complemented by a commitment of $6.29 million from the City of Toronto. This support includes financial incentives such as waiving development charges, planning and building fees, and property tax exemptions.
The initiative is a crucial component of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, which aims to approve 65,000 new affordable rental homes across the city over the next decade, with at least 6,500 dedicated to new rent-geared-to-income homes. This aligns with the overarching goal of addressing the escalating housing and homelessness crisis, requiring coordinated efforts across all levels of government.
Mayor Olivia Chow expressed her enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Everyone needs a safe place to call home. Today’s announcement of federal funding for the development of 68 new rent-geared-to-income homes, led by our valued partner Gabriel Dumont Non-Profit Homes, is yet another example of the kinds of investment and partnership required to address Toronto’s housing and homelessness crisis.”
The commitment to developing ‘for Indigenous, by Indigenous’ housing marks a significant stride toward creating inclusive and sustainable housing solutions for vulnerable communities. As this initiative takes shape, it sets a precedent for future collaborations that prioritize affordable housing and the well-being of Toronto residents.