TORONTO — Raising the Roof recently completed the latest Reside project in downtown Toronto.
The organization renovates vacant properties into affordable homes for people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness while providing construction career opportunities for vulnerable people.
Raising the Roof acquired a vacant single-family home from the City of Toronto’s Tenants First program and renovated it into an affordable home for a refugee family, indicates a release. Houses Opening Today Toronto (HOTT), a housing agency that provides support to refugees and other vulnerable people in the community, is providing wraparounds supports for the tenant family.
Through Raising the Roof’s social enterprise partner Building Up, 38 people with barriers to employment received hands-on trades training through the project, adds the release.
There is a need for workers in the construction industry and most of the trainees who worked on the project have already obtained full time positions in the construction sector.
Building Up employs green building principles so trainees also had the opportunity to participate in high performance building science practices such as building envelope improvements and air tightness, smart vapour control layers, energy efficient windows, providing healthy indoor air quality through high efficiency heat recovery ventilation, and focusing on low and carbon negative materials.
With support of the Reside program sponsors the project is fully fundraised and will be able to be operated as affordable for at least 99 years, states the release, adding the project is a prototype for an innovative model of affordable housing creation and prevented homelessness for 44 people in Toronto through housing and employment with supports.
“Building Up is thrilled about our growing partnership with Raising the Roof. Raising the Roof provides our participants with the unique training opportunity of first-hand work experience in construction,” said Tarah Clark, partner and chief operating officer with Building Up, in a statement. “By renovating vacant spaces into energy efficient affordable housing our participants build not only their skills, confidence and employability, but they also go home proud of the work they have done. Our work with Raising the Roof gives us the ability to truly set our participants up for success in both their careers and their lives.”
Raising the Roof is looking for new properties to implement the Reside program and create a wide-spread impact on homelessness across Canada. For more information visit www.raisingtheroof.org.