modular housing toronto

Toronto's next modular housing locations have been revealed

Just weeks after Toronto opened the doors to its second supportive modular housing building for people experiencing homelessness, the locations of the next two developments of the same kind have been revealed. 

In a newsletter sent out to consituents on Friday, city councillor John Fillion announced the planned construction of approximately 60 units of permanent housing on city-owned land at 175 Cummer Ave.

"Last year, City Council approved the use of high-quality three-storey modular housing as part of a 10-year action plan to reduce homelessness and relieve stress on the city's shelter system," wrote Fillion in the newletter. 

"Two sites in Scarborough and Toronto have already been built; the Willowdale project is part of a second phase of locations identified by city staff."

The other new modular housing location is slated for the free parking lot at the corner of Trenton and Cedarvale Avenue in East York, and is expected to be a three-storey, 64-unit building similar to the Macey site.

The announcements come ahead of a city staff report set to be considered this week. 

According to HousingNowTO, both projects will require a Minister's Zoning Order to make their Fall 2021 delivery deadline as they are in "Yellow Belt" neighbourhood zoned areas of the city.

"We will be supporting both of these projects (and their MZOs) as they go through the public-meeting process in March and April, as we will expect similar homeowner/neighbourhood 'push-back' as was seen at MACEY and HARRISON in 2020," Mark Richardson, technical lead at HousingNowTO, told blogTO.

According to the city, modular housing is high-quality, pre-fabricated housing that is transported to the site for assembly — making it much quicker to construct than a typical residential development.

These two locations are part of Phase II of the city's Modular Housing Initiative, which promises to deliver 150 new supportive homes in 2021.

This initiative is one component of the city's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, which targets the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes with 18,000 supportive homes, including 1,000 modular homes, to help increase housing stability for Toronto residents over the next 10 years. 

The city has also been allocated $203.3 million to create a minimum of 540 new permanent affordable homes, some of which will be modular, as part of the Canadian government's Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI)

"In recent years, and especially during the pandemic, finding solutions to Toronto's homeless crisis has become both more urgent and more complex. With this month's extreme cold weather, it is hard for those of us living in warm, comfortable surroundings to even imagine what it would be like to sleep on a subway grate or in a bus shelter," wrote Fillion.

"The city tries to provide enough emergency shelter beds but this is, at best, a band-aid solution. Housing people in rented hotel units is a short-term fix. Permanent housing – that's a solution."

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