A new partnership has been struck in an effort to bring new affordable housing to single mothers in Toronto.
In a press release, The Daniels Corporation announced that it had signed a new public-private partnership agreement that would allow for long-term, affordable rental housing for single mothers to be integrated into its purpose-built rental project, EVOLV.
Per the partnership agreement, which was also signed by the City of Toronto, Sun Life and WoodGreen Community Services, a total of 34 affordable homes would be incorporated into the 29-storey tower that is under construction near River Street and Dundas Street East in Regent Park.
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To promote inclusion and a community-oriented environment between tenants of all socio-economic backgrounds at EVOLV, the affordable housing suites will be dispersed throughout the building. The suites will have two- and three-bedroom layouts, and provide tenants with access to all of the building’s family-friendly amenities.
“Responding to the city’s affordable housing crisis requires innovative solutions, partnerships with nonprofits and the private sector are key to this response,” said City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam in the release.
“The partnership between Sun Life, The Daniels Corporation, and WoodGreen demonstrates the incredible work that can come from stakeholders working together with a common goal in mind,” she added.
As part of the agreement, the City of Toronto has dedicated $5.1 million in federal-provincial funding under the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI) to WoodGreen. The social services agency will oversee the leasing and management of the affordable housing units under its Homeward Bound Program, which supports homeless or inadequately housed single mothers. The City has also provided $720,847 in Open Door Program incentives in the form of waived property taxes for the next 40 years.
Sun Life and The Daniels Corporation have established a 40-year lease commitment with WoodGreen under the agreement, a partnership that aligns with Daniels’ Partnership for Affordable Living (PAL) program, which seeks to replicate public-private and not-for-profit partnerships in the development industry, the release explains.
“Access to safe, stable and affordable housing is a social determinant of health and an essential building block for all Canadians,” said Mitchell Cohen, President and CEO of The Daniels Corporation, in the release. “Daniels’ Partnership for Affordable Living program is a practical and real time response to the housing crisis, and we commend the City of Toronto for moving swiftly to act on this opportunity.”
With the 346-unit tower in the final stages of construction, the units will be ready for occupancy this spring.
The Daniels Corporation has an extensive history of developing new housing in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood — Field House Towns, Artsy Boutique Condominiums and DuEast Boutique are among the most notable projects the Toronto-based developer is currently working on in the area.