TORONTO — After receiving approval about a month ago, the City of Toronto’s plan to expedite delivery of the first phase of the Modular Housing Initiative is underway, with the program anticipated to provide affordable housing and support services to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness by this fall.
A key component of the expedited delivery is site identification, states a release issued by the city June 2, adding the city and CreateTO staff have been evaluating city-owned land across Toronto using criteria that included local demand for affordable housing, development potential of the site, local infrastructure, access to public transit, access to health and other community services as well as zoning and other bylaw considerations.
Two sites are being recommended for the initiative including 44 bachelor apartments at 150 Harrison St., the former site of the 14 Division Police Station, and 56 bachelor apartments at 11 Macey Ave. near Victoria Park and Danforth Avenue.
The modular homes will be prefabricated and installed onsite and will include self-contained bachelor units with kitchens and washrooms. Each location will also have a shared communal kitchen and administrative and program space. The city will select qualified, non-profit housing providers to manage each site.
The full capital costs for Phase 1 is estimated at $20.9 million. Funding is coming from the city’s Development Charges Reserve Fund for Subsidized Housing and from the Government of Canada through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which has committed $8.25 million in contributions and repayable loans, indicates the release.
“As Toronto continues to grow, we are working to find unique and modern ways to address the ongoing challenges that we will face, including the need for more housing options,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory in the statement. “I have led city council in supporting the modular housing initiative because it is a key way in which we can provide residents access to stable, affordable, high quality housing as quickly as possible. Through modular housing we can quickly create permanent housing options that will impact the lives of many people in our city.”