Toronto Finds Solution To Affordable Housing With Modular Homes
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Toronto Finds Solution To Affordable Housing With Modular Homes

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128 modular homes set to pop up on City land in Phase Two of the Tory’s affordable housing initiative

TDS News – Today, Mayor John Tory announced the details of the second phase of the City of Toronto’s Modular Housing Initiative (MHI). The two sites announced today will create approximately 128 modular homes, 64 at each of the City-owned sites, which are located at 175 Cummer Ave., next to Willowdale Manor, and on the corner lot at Trenton Ave. and Cedarvale Ave. The new modular homes will provide stable, affordable housing and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Tory was joined at the virtual announcement by Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children, the Minister responsible for (CMHC), MP Ali Ehsassi, along with other members of representing the Mayors council and those of the federal government.

The City and CreateTO staff evaluated City-owned and controlled land across Toronto using criteria that included: local demand for affordable housing, development potential of the site, current environmental status, local infrastructure, access to public transit, access to health and other community services, as well as the zoning by-law and other considerations.

The site on Cummer Ave. is currently owned by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). City staff are in the process of identifying a third City-owned/controlled site that will be appropriate for the development of the next modular housing site under Phase Two. It is expected that this site will be selected and announced by spring 2021.

Toronto Finds Solution To Affordable Housing With Modular Homes

Local residents will have an opportunity to learn more about these projects and to provide input into design elements during upcoming virtual community engagement sessions beginning the week of March 8. Details on how to participate in this process are being mailed to local residents and are also available on the Modular Housing Initiative website: https://www.toronto.ca/modularhousing

NRB Modular Solutions was the successful proponent of the request for proposal (RFP) issued by CreateTO and has been selected as the building manufacturer. They are working with a team of consultants to prepare site plan applications for each site, which will be submitted to the City for review. Once the site plan application is approved, construction of the modular homes can begin. The City will select qualified non-profit housing providers to operate the homes and provide support services.

“Increasing the supply of affordable housing has been a top priority for me as Mayor. We have set out an ambitious set of goals through our HousingTO Action Plan to increase the supply using innovative and modern ideas like Modular Housing. Modular housing has enabled us to act quickly by building new homes in months, not years while leveraging underutilized properties that the City already owns. – Mayor John Tory

The City’s MHI, as approved by City Council on April 30, 2020, consists of two phases. The full capital costs for Phase Two are estimated at $26.6 million. The City’s Development Charges Reserve Fund for Subsidized Housing is contributing $16.1 million while the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, has committed $10.5 million in grants and recoverable loans.

Approximately $3.1 million in annual operating funding is requested from the Province for health-related support services and housing subsidies for the residents of the 128 homes at these two sites.

Modular housing is prefabricated in a factory and then transported to the site where it is assembled and can be implemented at a lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than traditional housing construction models.

The first phase of the MHI, which included two sites, 11 Macey Ave. and 321 Dovercourt Rd., was completed within nine months and provided 100 affordable supportive homes for individuals experiencing homelessness. Modular housing provides a unique opportunity to respond rapidly to Toronto’s urgent homelessness situation, while also reducing pressure on the City’s shelter system.

In addition to the MHI, other programs will help create even more modular supportive housing in 2021. As part of the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), the City has been allocated $203.3 million to create a minimum of 540 new permanent affordable homes, some of which will be modular. The City has requested operating funding for wrap-around support services and housing subsidies from the Province. City Council has also requested additional provincial investments for community agencies providing mental health, addiction and other health services.

The MHI is one component of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. The plan targets the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes with 18,000 supportive homes, including 1,000 modular homes, to help increase housing stability for Toronto residents over the next 10 years.

Image source https://nrbmodular.com/

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