Hundreds of new affordable housing units will be available in Toronto’s Chinatown and Yorkville neighbourhoods.
The City announced on Thursday the purchasing of two buildings under Toronto’s Rapid Housing Initiative that will allow the creation of 334 affordable homes with supportive services for their residents.
“We have remained committed to increasing the number of affordable housing options in Toronto and ensuring that we are providing support to those who need it the most,” said Mayor John Tory. “The housing we are announcing today will create a more well-rounded, full-service support system for vulnerable residents in our city.”
One of the locations is a 15-storey former retirement residence at 877 Yonge Street in Yorkville that the City purchased for $94.9 million. It will be converted into studio and one-bedroom apartments with the capacity to house around 250 people.
The new housing space will offer programming in communal areas and will have support staff on-site 24/7 to connect residents with health care and community-based programs.
“Supportive housing has proven to work and is the type of housing we need to create for people in need of a stable, long-term and welcoming place to call home,” Tory said.
The first 127 apartments in this building will be ready for occupation in May. The remaining are expected to be ready by December.
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In Chinatown, a former three-floor hotel inside a multi-use building at 222 Spadina Avenue will be converted into one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for approximately 84 people. Supportive services will be offered here as well.
“To truly tackle the affordable housing crisis in our city, we must take bold steps – like acquiring a private hotel in our downtown core and turning it into affordable housing units with fully integrated supports,” said Councillor Joe Cressy, who serves as the Chair of the Board of Health.
Tenants are expected to move into the Spadina space, which the City purchased for $22.3 million, in December 2021.
These won’t be the only affordable, supportive housing units opening this year. According to the City, there are plans to open 1,098 new affordable housing units for occupancy in 2021, including the Chinatown and Yorkville additions.