Scarborough’s New Modular Housing Initiative: Ontario’s Investment in Homelessness Prevention

The Ontario government has taken a significant step towards addressing homelessness with the announcement of approximately $2 million in annual operating funding for a new modular housing project in Scarborough. Associate Minister of Housing Rob Flack made this announcement, highlighting the government’s commitment to innovative housing solutions as part of National Housing Day.

Project Overview:

  • The project, located at 39 Dundalk Drive in Scarborough, is part of the City of Toronto’s Modular Housing Initiative.
  • This five-storey building includes 57 units, all fully furnished with their own kitchen and bathroom. Notably, 20 of these homes are barrier-free, ensuring accessibility.
  • Residents, prioritized for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, will start moving in by the end of November.

Government’s Broader Housing Strategy:

  • Associate Minister Flack emphasized the government’s broader strategy in increasing the variety of homes across Ontario, with a focus on supportive and affordable housing. Modular housing, known for its high-speed construction, is a key component of this strategy.
  • This funding is part of the province’s Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP), which includes a significant annual increase of $202 million across various homelessness prevention initiatives. This raises Ontario’s total yearly investment to nearly $700 million.

Increased Funding for Toronto:

  • The City of Toronto will receive an increased $48 million through HPP, boosting its total annual funding to over $217 million. This increase is indicative of the province’s commitment to partnering with municipalities in tackling homelessness and housing affordability issues.

Quotes from Key Figures:

  • David Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough Centre, expressed pride in partnering with the City of Toronto and the government’s efforts to build more homes in Scarborough Centre and across the province.
  • Mayor Olivia Chow of Toronto emphasized the importance of supportive housing in addressing chronic homelessness and acknowledged the vital collaboration among federal, provincial, and municipal governments, along with non-profit housing providers.
  • Patricia Mueller, CEO of Homes First Society, shared excitement about operating the new program at 39 Dundalk, highlighting the critical addition of 57 supportive housing units and the comprehensive services offered, including 24-hour staff and a full meal program.

Additional Provincial Support:

  • The HPP allows service managers to allocate funds to various programs and services that address and prevent homelessness in their communities, including rent supplements, homeless shelters, and supportive housing projects.
  • An additional $42 million has been announced through the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit to assist the City of Toronto and other municipalities in supporting asylum claimants and other at-risk populations in need of housing.

This initiative represents a collaborative effort to provide sustainable and supportive housing solutions, reflecting Ontario’s dedication to addressing homelessness through innovative and efficient housing models.

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