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May 10, 2001
Trellis support for new affordable housing development
  
Community and Neighbourhood Services -- 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 Avene West at Allen Road.

Additional support comes from the Government of Canada's Supporting Communities
Partnership Initiative (SCPI) and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(CMHC). A project launch ceremony was held at City Hall today.

Seventeen of the Trellis Gardens apartments will provide below-market 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 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.

"Trellis Gardens will be more than bricks and mortar," said Valerie Elliott
Hyman, co-chair of Trellis Housing Initiatives. "It will be a community that
offers a variety of skills to help people get back into the mainstream. We
chose the name Trellis because it is a support for growth, development and
beauty."

"I'm very excited about this project. Toronto has set the stage for
partnerships among community groups and government to make housing happen,"
said Toronto Councillor Brad Duguid, chair of the City's Community Services
Committee and project launch host.

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. An interest-free
second mortgage of $800,000 and waiver of development fees rounds out the City
of Toronto support to the project.

"This development will help women and children to have better, more fulfilled
lives without spending all of their energy worrying about the roof over their
heads," said Councillor Michael Feldman, chair of the Capital Revolving Fund's
advisory committee.

The federal SCPI is providing an additional grant of $500,000 in capital
funding and CMHC has contributed about $87,000 in loans and grants for proposal
development. Trellis Housing Initiatives is committed to raising at least
$360,000 towards capital costs.

"This project is an example of the Government of Canada's commitment to working
with our partners to find innovative and successful ways of combatting
homelessness in Canada," said Joe Volpe, Member of Parliament for
Eglinton-Lawrence. "This is the kind of support to those in need that is being
provided through the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative. I am
delighted to see this facility moving forward in such a positive and meaningful
way," he added.

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 384 units of affordable housing in
various stages of development through Let's Build.

The Government of Canada's $305-million Supporting Communities Partnership
Initiative sponsors broad partnerships to support actions identified by
communities to alleviate and prevent homelessness. Toronto will receive $53
million over three years under the SCPI for service programs and capital
projects.


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