Habitat for Humanity GTA has announced the launch of a $17 million dollar land trust, which will enable the creation of new affordable housing options for Toronto residents.
Supported by local developers, this land trust is the result of a collaboration between Capital Developments, Metropia, the City of Toronto, Habitat for Humanity GTA, St. Clare’s Multifaith homes, and community group Build a Better Bloor Dufferin.
“Through an initial call to action and continued engagement from Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, the City, the private sector, and not-for-profit sectors have been brought together to foster long-term affordability and a diverse community,” Ene Underwood, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area, told Toronto Storeys. “Deputy Mayor Bailão has enabled our sector to develop creative solutions while navigating a new path to affordable housing.”
Of the $17 million allocated for this historic land trust, $15 million dollars will be used to develop 180 affordable housing units. The remaining $2 million will be used to implement additional community space in the Bloor-Dufferin neighbourhood. A minimum of 50 per cent of funds are anticipated to be used within Toronto’s Ward 9, Davenport area, with a 2,200 unit development.
“As part of our Bloor Dufferin development, on-site, we are conveying to the city a full 8-storey rental residential building for affordable use; however, as companies committed to building communities in Toronto, we know our impact needs to extend beyond the edges of our properties,” said Todd Cowan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Capital Developments, in a press release.
Community organization Build a Better Bloor Dufferin (BBBD) has been advocating for affordable housing and community space in the area for a long time. With the launch of this land trust, BBBD co-chair Maggie Hutcheson says “Today is a day for celebration.”
“Since the beginning, our neighbourhood pushed for greater benefits for the community. We are proud our advocacy work has contributed to the outcome of a non-profit land trust, which will provide affordable housing for hundreds of Torontonians in the years to come. It shows that when the community is fully engaged and we set our sights high, we can do better.”
Bailão, who is also a city councillor and Toronto housing advocate, is a strong supporter of this agreement.
“Finding new and innovative partnerships is critical for the City’s efforts to effectively address our housing needs and respond to local development pressures,” she said.