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August 1, 2001
300 transitional homes to be created in Toronto
  
Funding for the creation of 300 transitional housing units for families and
single people was announced today by the Honourable David Collenette, Minister
of Transport on behalf of the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour
and federal co-ordinator on homelessness and Toronto City Councillor Brad
Duguid, Chair of the City's Community Services Committee.

Transitional housing addresses the needs of people who may have been homeless a
long time or who for other reasons require support services to help them access
and maintain more permanent affordable housing in future.

A total of $11.3 million in capital funding is being provided by the Government
of Canada through its Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) and
will go to 12 community groups who successfully bid for funding assistance. An
additional $1.5 million in federal SCPI funding is also being allocated to
expand the Native Men's Residence emergency shelter by 22 beds, and to build a
new 70-bed shelter on Danforth Avenue. Operating funding for the new shelter
beds will be shared between the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

This funding is part of the $53-million federal funding Toronto will receive
over three years for projects and services that address homelessness. Under its
Community Plan for Homelessness, Toronto designates 40 per cent of SCPI funding
for transitional housing.

"The partnerships announced today will enable community organizations in
Toronto to better address the well-being of people in need in our communities,"
said Minister Collenette. "This is a clear example of the Government of
Canada's commitment to working with our partners to find new and successful
ways of combating homelessness in Canada. This approach is based on the premise
that communities are best positioned to develop effective, efficient strategies
to meet these challenges."

Total project costs for the 300 new transitional housing units come to $25.8
million. Community groups are matching SCPI funds with substantial capital
funding from the Province of Ontario, the private sector, mortgages, donations,
in-kind contributions and their own resources such as land or mortgages on
their existing properties.

Projects are a combination of new construction, renovation or conversion of
existing buildings to create a mix of units ranging from single rooms to
four-bedroom apartments. When completed, this transitional housing will serve
youth, families, women, men, refugees and people experiencing mental health or
addiction issues.

The City's Let's Build team is facilitating planning and development of these
projects, some of which will be completed by the end of the year. 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 helps
groups gain access to funding assistance and municipal incentives such as a
waiver of development charges for non-profit housing.

"The development of transitional housing means we are providing real options
for people to leave shelters or unsustainable housing conditions," said
Councillor Duguid. "This is an important step in addressing homelessness in
Toronto."

A second round of transitional housing proposals will be launched this fall.




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