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The city of Toronto is opening its first of two buildings that will provide modular affordable housing for 100 people who have no homes, and another 150 such homes are slated to open in 2021. Using prefabricated modules enabled the city to put up the building quickly.

The homes measure just under 28 square meters and have a full bathroom and kitchen with stove top, microwave and fridge. They are furnished with a bed, lounge chair, table and chairs and a chest of drawers. Twenty-five per cent of them are accessible by wheelchair. In addition to the flats, there will be a common room, a dining room, space for special programs and administrative offices.

Toronto has Canada’s second-most expensive rental market

The non-profit, Homes First estimates that on any given day in Toronto, 8,700 people experience homelessness.

The city of Toronto is known for its high cost of housing and is second to the city of Vancouver in that regard. The average cost of a bachelor apartment in Toronto is $1,148. Tenants of these modules will either pay not more than 30 per cent of their income or the shelter component of any income assistance they may be receiving. Two non-profit organizations will run the two buildings and collect the rent. They may be eligible for subsidies from the city or provincial governments.

The use of prefabricated modules made it faster to set up new homes. (City of Toronto)

Several services provided to renters

The non-profits will offer around-the-clock support to residents free of charge. The services will include housing stability and eviction prevention, harm reduction and relapse prevention, and support with daily living activities. Residents can also be connected with other services which can provide primary health care, employment opportunities and income assistance. The city of Toronto continues to request funding for operation expenses from provincial and federal governments.

There are plans to provide more supportive housing in Toronto. The Canadian government has given Toronto $203.3 million to create a minimum of 417 new permanent affordable homes. This grant can be used to acquire land and build modular housing or to convert existing buildings into affordable housing. This is part of a larger city of Toronto housing plan that spans 2020-2030 and aims to add almost 40,000 new permanent affordable rental homes.


Story by: Radio Canada International