Developer and community services group form strategic partnership to deliver Toronto affordable housing

72 perth rendering

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Castlepoint Numa Inc. and WoodGreen Community Services say they have organized a strategic partnership to deliver and manage 300 to 400 new affordable housing units in Toronto.

Allocated to four projects slated for completion in the next three to 10 years, these units will provide housing for the low and middle-income segments of Toronto’s rental market, the organizations said in a statement on Monday (Nov. 22), National Housing Day.

“This has been in the works for several years and started with agreements with the city on our waterfront sites that demonstrated meaningful, affordable-housing delivery without government subsidy can work on private-sector lands,” said Elsa Fancello, vice-president planning and development at Castlepoint Numa.

See also: City of Toronto announces development partners for third Housing Now site

The developers say their first project  will be a 108-unit rental building with 10 to 15 affordable apartments located at 72 Perth Ave. It is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

72 perth st
The 72 Perth site before development (Google Street View)

The affordable units – which will be priced at about 80 percent of average market rent (AMR) in Toronto – are being delivered without any direct government subsidy. Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Castlepoint Numa and its partners will retain ownership and leverage WoodGreen’s experience to assist in the delivery and management of the affordable units.

“Our focus is to achieve the best possible outcomes for a diverse mix of tenants who face economic, social and health related barriers to accessing and retaining affordable housing,” said Anne Babcock, CEO and president of WoodGreen. “We want to demonstrate that strategic partnerships of this kind can have a significant and lasting impact on people’s lives.”

“Collaboration is critical to effectively addressing housing challenges in our city and the partnership between Castlepoint Numa and WoodGreen is the kind of cooperative approach that brings together experience, innovation and commitment as we all work together to deliver affordable housing,”  deputy mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Mayor John Tory’s designated Housing Advocate, said in a statement.

In view of Toronto’s new affordability mandate,  Fancello said she believes Castlepoint Numa’s partnership with WoodGreen will be “a catalyst for many other similar alliances between developers and providers of social and community services.”

Recently introduced legislation, called inclusionary zoning, will require condo developers to set aside five-to-10 per cent of new units located near major transit hubs, for affordable rentals or affordably-priced homes beginning in 2022. This presents a tremendous opportunity for condo developers to partner with non-profit housing providers, the statement says.

“Castlepoint Numa and WoodGreen have jumped ahead of the curve of inclusionary zoning, with these new units committed before the legislation takes effect,” said Alfredo Romano, president of Castlepoint Numa. “The private sector has to be fully engaged if we’re going to move the needle.”

Mwarigha, WoodGreen’s housing vice-president, said this model delivers a cost-effective solution for housing low and moderate income families in a mixed income community setting.

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