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November 14, 2001
Trellis Gardens breaking new ground on the homelessness front
  
Construction is set to begin on one of Toronto's first affordable rental
buildings under the City's Let's Build program. Through Let's Build, the City
of Toronto is providing land and financing to Trellis Housing Initiatives, a
community-based non-profit, to build 24 affordable rental units at Lawrence
Avenue West at Allen Road. Additional support comes from the Government of
Canada's National Homelessness Initiative and Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC). A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the construction site
today.

Seventeen of the Trellis Gardens apartments will provide below-market-value
housing for about 44 women and their children, and offer support services such
as childcare and skills training. The site also accommodates a community garden
and children's play area.

Rents for the 17 below-market-value units will range from $500 per month for a
one-bedroom unit to about $550 for a two-bedroom. Seven more units will rent at
affordable market rates. Tenants will be drawn from Toronto's waiting list for
assisted housing, from the City's emergency shelter system and the Out of the
Cold program.

"It's been a struggle to get to this point but were breaking new ground," said
Valerie Elliott Hyman, co-chair of Trellis Housing Initiatives. "I know there
are a lot of other groups out there who want to build housing, too. It can be
done."

"Toronto has set the stage for partnerships among community groups and
government to build affordable housing," said Toronto Councillor Brad Duguid,
chair of the City's community services committee. "We appreciate the assistance
from the Government of Canada in helping to make this happen."

"This project is an example of the Government of Canada's commitment to working
with our partners to find innovative and successful ways of combating
homelessness in Canada," said Joe Volpe, MP for Eglinton-Lawrence on behalf of
the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Federal Co-ordinator on Homelessness, and
the Honourable Alfonso Gagliano, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation. "This is the kind of support to those in need that is
being provided through the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative as
well as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation," he added.

Trellis Housing Initiatives is a coalition of Congregation Darchei Noam and the
Out of the Cold program, a faith-based network that provides meals and
overnight shelter to people without homes. These groups have a demonstrated
ability to develop affordable housing and have experience in providing services
to people in need.

Applying the City's Housing First Policy for Affordable Housing, Let's Build is
leasing city-owned land at nominal cost and providing a grant of $288,000 from
Toronto's Capital Revolving Fund for Affordable Housing. The City of Toronto is
also providing an interest-free second mortgage of $800,000, a waiver of city
development charges and a $29,664 loan to cover a new Toronto Catholic District
School Board development levy.

"Community partnerships like Trellis Gardens help us bring affordable housing
to life," said Councillor Michael Feldman, chair of the Capital Revolving Funds
advisory committee. "I encourage other community groups to follow this
inspiring lead."

The Government of Canada is providing an additional grant of $500,000 in
capital funding under the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI).
Trellis Housing Initiatives is committed to raising at least $360,000 towards
capital costs. CMHC's contribution to this project includes $87,000 in
interest-free loans and grants, in addition to providing mortgage loan
insurance on Trellis's $1.9 million mortgage. The mortgage loan insurance helps
to facilitate construction by enabling a larger mortgage to be obtained at a
lower rate.

Let's Build is the City of Toronto's affordable housing development program
that helps community and commercial developers build affordable housing. Let's
Build makes available city-owned land along with capital grants, loans and
development assistance. There are currently 304 units of affordable housing in
various stages of development through Let's Build.

Funding for the National Homelessness Initiative was provided for in the
February 2000 budget and is therefore built into the existing financial
framework.


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