In case you missed it, there was a big announcement regarding affordable housing in Toronto last Friday (July 8).
Mayor John Tory was joined by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, along with Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport; James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore; and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, Planning and Housing Committee Chair, to announce seven new affordable and supportive housing developments, as part of Phase Two of the federal Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).
Two of those developments are being led by WoodGreen Community Services. The locations are at 60 Bowden St. with 50 affordable housing units for seniors and 1080 Queen St East with nine units under our signature Seniors Cluster Care Model. WoodGreen will receive a combined $23.5 million largely from the federal government for both projects along with incentives from the City of Toronto’s Open Door Program ($4M) to ensure rents are deeply affordable for those who need it most.
“As one of the largest non-municipal affordable housing providers in Toronto, WoodGreen Community Housing is proud to partner with the Rapid Housing Initiative for these two projects, which will provide seniors with critically needed affordable housing and access to the wide range of support services that we offer,” said Anne Babcock, President & CEO of WoodGreen Community Services.
More affordable housing units for seniors in Toronto’s east end
For the project at 1080 Queen St E., WoodGreen will repurpose one of our offices into a Seniors Cluster Care unit. The property is located within 1070 Queen Street East, already a large WoodGreen-owned seniors' affordable housing location, with existing supports onsite.
“This new WoodGreen Seniors Cluster Care unit is going to fill an important need in the community and help alleviate pressure off alternate levels of care in hospitals and long-term care. It will offer seniors with high acuity supports such as check-ups, medication administration, bathing and toileting, and other forms of assistance and care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a housing setting which is less expensive and in the best interest of the client,” said Dorothy Quon, Director of Assisted Living.
Meanwhile, at 60 Bowden St., we will be transforming the former Danforth Baptist Church to create affordable housing units for seniors, while maintaining public-use amenities for the community-at-large. The church facade will be retained as part of the design to honour the history of the site and its important role in the community.
“We are excited to not only maintain but increase community benefit at this location with state-of-the-art facilities to support our aging population,” said Mwarigha, Vice President of Housing and Community Services.
Local representatives are also looking forward to having these new affordable housing projects in their community, noting the benefits for residents.
"Building more affordable housing is a top priority and I'm so pleased that 60 Bowden St. and 1080 Queen St. East are moving forward and being led by WoodGreen. At 60 Bowden, the Danforth Baptist Church will be transformed into 50 new affordable and much-needed homes for seniors. It is the first major development on Danforth after the adoption of the Danforth Planning and Heritage Study. There will also be a community benefits agreement for the construction of this project which will provide jobs to local youth. I'm proud to support this initiative and I'd like to thank everyone involved," said Paula Fletcher, Councillor for Toronto-Danforth.
Thank you to the federal and municipal governments for coming together to support the development of more affordable housing, which is a critical need in this city.