As Toronto developers continue to profit, the city remains the most “unequal capital” in Canada with the gap between rich and poor widening daily. Now a developer has found a way to give back significantly in the face of Toronto’s ongoing housing affordability crisis. The Daniels Corporation will provide 10 homes to Habitat for Humanity to help create more opportunities to deliver affordable housing in the GTA.
In celebration of World Habitat Day, The Daniels Corporation will build homes in numerous locations including Toronto’s Regent Park, Mississauga’s City Centre and Erin Mills locations, Pickering and Brampton. The gift will allow for 10 families to become first-time homeowners in an otherwise inaccessible real estate market. The projected occupation date will be sometime between 2019 and 2022.
“Our 23-year partnership with Daniels is a shining example of their longstanding commitment to bring affordable housing to families in Toronto and the GTA,” said Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity GTA. “We are proud that Daniels is a pace-setter among the increasing number of developers that see the importance and value of partnering with Habitat for Humanity. Today, we’re looking to grow our partnerships with developers to bring more immediate, affordable homeownersip opportunities to families in Toronto and the GTA.”
Including today’s announcement, the developer has created 83 Habitat homes for families in need of housing. The 23-year partnership sets the bar high for other developers to give back to the communities in which they build. Toronto City Council is still in the early planning stages of inclusionary zoning policy. The land-use planning tool would be a much-needed solution to the ongoing housing affordability problem, enabling the City to require developers to provide affordable housing units within new residential developments.
While inclusionary zoning is not currently mandated for developers, it makes The Daniels Corporation’s step unexpectedly generous. “We’re proud to stand with Habitat for Humanity on World Habitat Day and help strengthen the communities where we live and work,” said Don Pugh, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation. “Through our work with Habitat for Humanity, we have demonstrated that this type of partnership is a proven strategy for success. By partnering with Habitat, every developer can play a vital role to help build sustainable cities and communities.”
Habitat for Humanity has started to go vertical to meeting housing needs. Just recently it announced a three-storey 41-unit multi residential project for Peterborough and a high rise in Toronto.
“To address affordable housing challenges in Toronto it is important that we embrace unique and innovative strategies,” said Ana Bailao, Deputy Mayor and City Councillor. “Partnerships between non-profit housing providers like Habitat for Humanity and developers such as The Daniels Corporation create immediate affordable housing opportunities for working, lower-income families in new developments. The City congratulates both Habitat for Humanity and The Daniels Corporation for this initiative and encourages other developers to partner with Habitat for Humanity to create affordable housing options across Toronto.”
Vidia Mohammed, who became a Habitat homeowner through Daniels FirstHome Beckenrose in Brampton says the experience was life-changing. “I was one of the lucky ones. Every family deserves a place to call home and my heart goes out to the tens of thousands of families who are currently waiting for affordable housing.”
Let’s hope The Daniels Corporation starts a bigger trend towards developers giving back.