By ALI RAZA
Affordable housing aimed at alleviating homelessness is coming to the Danforth and Victoria Park avenues area.
The City of Toronto is expediting its Modular Housing Initiative for land it owns at 11 Macey Ave. in southwest Scarborough.
The plot belongs to the city and will be used as Phase I of the initiative that aims to provide stable, affordable and high-quality housing and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness by fall of 2020. The program is part of the city’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.
City-owned lands were evaluated using criteria that included local demand for affordable housing, development potential, local infrastructure, access to public transit, and access to health and other community services.
Two sites have been proposed: 150 Harrison St. (near Dovercourt and Dundas in the west end) and 11 Macey Ave. (north and east of Danforth and Victoria Park).
On Macey Avenue, there are 56 bachelor apartments planned. The city will select non-profit housing providers to manage the property.
Modular homes will be pre-fabricated, and installed on site. The buildings are to include self-contained bachelor units with a kitchen, and administrative and program space.
The city is hosting a community engagement process with online events planned for each of the proposed locations.
Members of the community are encouraged to participate and provide comments and suggestions. The city hopes to collect feedback from the public on building and site design elements, and ideas on how to support and welcome residents into the neighbourhood.
The full cost of Phase I is estimated at $20.9 million, with funding coming from the city’s Development Charges Reserve Fund for Subsidized Housing, and the federal government’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Innovation Fund, which has committed $8.25 million in grants and loans.
Scarborough-Southwest Councillor Gary Crawford, who is supportive of the program, will host the public engagement meetings for the Macey Avenue property.
“Providing permanent, affordable rental housing with support services on-site will help people to move out of the shelter system and off of the streets,” Crawford said.
“I am advocating for the best possible initiative here in Ward 20 (Scarborough Southwest) and I have asked staff to make sure this initiative will help Scarborough residents affected by homelessness stay close to their community and connected to community resources,” he added.
Three public engagement meetings are planned for the coming weeks. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the sessions will be available online or via phone.
To join via phone, enter the access code accompanied with the session date. To join online, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The public engagement sessions take place Tuesday June 16 (phone access code: 133 530 4066), Tuesday June 23 (phone access code: 133 380 2766), and Wednesday July 8 (phone access code: 133 692 0767) – all from 6:30 to 8 p.m.