Affordable housing continues to top headlines as the cost of rental housing in Toronto is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many people living on low to moderate incomes. As one of the largest non-municipal providers of affordable housing in the city of Toronto, WoodGreen has a longstanding history of both building new and managing existing affordable housing sites across the city.
Housing is also a strong social determinant of health, and we know that when our clients have a safe place to live they are better positioned to tackle other challenges they are facing. For these reasons housing remains a huge priority for us and we have set the ambitious target of adding 2,000 new units over the next 10 years, bringing our total stock to 3,000.
Over the last year, we have tested a series of innovative approaches to meet this goal that include – acquiring government-owned land to develop, forging new, strong partnerships with the private sector to develop our own land, and integrating with other agencies like Accommodation, Information and Support (AIS) to acquire new units and create future opportunities for redevelopment.
WoodGreen’s affordable housing is a unique model of supportive housing: all tenants have access to the full basket of WoodGreen’s 75 programs and services including food programs and Meals on Wheels, social-recreational programs, congregate dining, social work and mental health supports, transportation, financial empowerment and tax preparation, employment help, key supports for seniors who are isolated and frail, and newcomer settlement services. This added support is key to successful, healthy tenancies for seniors and other vulnerable, marginalized communities.