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Toronto City Council unanimously approves permanent, supportive housing in Parkdale

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TORONTO, ON., Oct. 27, 2020 — Today, Toronto City Council approved a framework to activate the Social Medicine Initiative (SMI) housing partnership that will create new permanent supportive housing in the Parkdale neighbourhood.

Recognizing the inextricable link between poverty, health and social outcomes, and the need to take a systemic approach to improving the lives of residents across the city, the City of Toronto, the University Health Network (UHN) and the United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) have developed a unique SMI model that will use land owned by UHN in Parkdale to create new permanent supportive housing.

The plan will coordinate resources from all three partners to develop a range of housing and important health and social services onsite.

The lands owned by UHN in Parkdale include the majority of the block bounded by King Street West, Close Avenue, Dunn Avenue and Springhurst Avenue and include both institutional and residential properties.

Subject to ongoing partner discussions and future approval by Council, the 13 residential properties on this site will be transferred to the City of Toronto and managed by an experienced not-for-profit organization in the short term. The ultimate goal is to redevelop the properties ‘with community for community’ to create more affordable and supportive housing.

The SMI housing initiative will see affordable housing integrated with health care and social services to help vulnerable populations improve their health outcomes. It will provide more housing opportunities for people who are currently under-served by the healthcare system while experiencing homelessness and other challenges imposed by poverty.

Furthermore, this systems integration approach will reduce the number of patients who require an alternate level of care, and provide them with the supports they need to live successfully while also reducing the pressures on the overall health and social services system.

This project is part of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, a comprehensive blueprint to assist more than 341,000 people with a focus on creating permanent housing solutions. The Action Pan targets 40,000 new affordable rental home approvals, including 18,000 supportive housing units.

Further details on the framework are provided in the staff report.

SOURCE City of Toronto

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