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January 31, 2001
Construction starts on affordable housing project
Signals continued partnership between City, Federal Government
and community sector to address homelessness

Construction has begun on the first project to be built under the City of
Toronto's Let's Build affordable housing program. Project Amik ("beaver" in
Ojibwa) will provide 74 units of housing for over 100 low-income people
including singles, seniors, families and children. The project is being built
on a site provided by the City of Toronto with funding from the Let's Build
program. An application is also under consideration under the Federal
Government's Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) for $942,000.
The Frontiers Foundation, the project sponsor, will raise an additional
$370,000 to reduce development costs.

"It is exciting to see the Federal Government and the City of Toronto working
together to provide housing and not hostels," said Mayor Mel Lastman. "Federal,
provincial and municipal governments, along with the private and volunteer
sectors, must work together because the issue of homelessness is too big for
any one level of government to solve alone. Together, we must build on what is
already being done, and come up with a more permanent way of helping people in
need," said Mayor Lastman.

"Project Amik is a wonderful example of a dynamic new approach to fighting
homelessness here in Toronto," said Minister Maria Minna, Minister of
International Co-operation and Member of Parliament for Beaches-East York.
"Everyone involved in this development is to be congratulated. I look forward
to other similar efforts designed to provide shelter and dignity for those
Canadians who need it most."

The project is located at 419 Coxwell Avenue in Toronto's east end and will
consist of a renovated warehouse building and a new three-storey apartment
structure. The project will also have a community day care centre and a new
park on one edge of the site. "The Let's Build concept is just the beginning.
It represents a way that government, housing proponents and the community can
work together to produce quality affordable housing," said Councillor Sandra
Bussin (Ward 32 Beaches-East York).

Let's Build facilitates the development of affordable housing by providing
City-owned land along with capital grants and loans from the City's Capital
Revolving Fund (CRF) for the generation of stable, affordable housing. Let's
Build projects approved by Council in 2000 will result in the development of
384 units of affordable housing over the next two years, providing new homes
for over 660 lower income people including 300 children. This will be among the
first new units of purpose-built rental housing to be built in the Toronto area
in the last five years.

Project Amik is being developed by the Frontiers Foundation, an
aboriginal-focused charitable housing provider. Since 1964, the Frontiers
Foundation has developed over 2,000 housing units in communities across Canada.

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