Toronto Community Housing CEO Len Koroneos is urging Toronto City Councillors to move forward efforts to revitalize Lawrence Heights for the benefit of tenants and the wider community by endorsing the City�s Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan.
North York Community Council is discussing the Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan today (November 2, 2011).� The full text of the deputation is below.
UPDATE:�On November 2, 2011, North York Community Council approved the Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan.� Now it will be sent to City Council for final approval on November 29, with a financial plan to support the revitalization.�
Read more about the Lawrence Heights Revitalization.
Chief Executive Officer (interim)
Toronto Community Housing
Deputation for North York Community Council Item NY11.24
November 2, 2011�
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Good afternoon, I�m Len Koroneos, CEO of Toronto Community Housing. I�m here today to voice my support for the City�s Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan.
Toronto Community Housing needs the Secondary Plan to be approved to move to the next step of revitalization in Lawrence Heights. Our company faces a $650-million capital repair backlog that is growing by $100 million every year.� Community revitalization, not building-by-building repairs, is the most lasting and effective way for us to improve the housing in Lawrence Heights and strengthen the community.
The Secondary Plan, and all the plans that go with it, are the result of hard work on the part of the residents, community agencies, Councillor Josh Colle, the City, and Toronto Community Housing.� Over the past four years, we have worked with tenants, the City and the broader community to create a better future for Lawrence Heights with a plan for good housing and a healthy, mixed-income community.�
Good housing translates into improved quality of life for seniors who have trouble walking up the stairs to their units, for the families of six sharing one aging bathroom, for those with basements that are repeatedly flooding. A healthy community means hope for a better future for youth who are passed over for jobs based on their address. I could go on, but you�ll hear from Lawrence Heights residents this afternoon, who will tell their stories better than I can.�
We are committed to building a mixed-income community. Revitalization will replace the aging 1,208 rental units with the same number of new, quality, energy-efficient homes. The new rental units will be mixed, side-by-side, with 4,100 new market-priced apartments and family housing. This change will happen gradually over 20 years.� Our plan is to move forward at a manageable pace, block-by-block.� Using this approach, we can commit to tenants that they can remain in Lawrence Heights throughout the revitalization.
Revitalization is about more than new housing�it�s about providing better access to educational, commercial, social and recreational opportunities for the whole community. It�s about building great neighbourhoods.
Toronto Community Housing is committed to leading the revitalization of Lawrence Heights. We have a financially sustainable plan that will be phased in over 20 years. Through the sale of market housing with private-sector developer partners, we will invest $350 million to replace the rental housing. Over the 20 year build out we will attract $1.5 billion in private investment.� We do not need to rely on our operating budget or taxpayer contributions to pay for the new housing.
Toronto Community Housing has unique experience in creating value from our land and making revitalization happen. We are working with a great group of private sector developers in the Railway Lands (Context), Allenbury Gardens (Fram Building Group), Leslie Nymark (Tridel) and Regent Park (Daniels) to revitalize those communities by building new affordable housing for tenants, attracting new community amenities, and creating job and training opportunities.
We support the Secondary Plan before you. It is a key milestone that will enable us to bring on the first of many developer partners who will work with us to make the vision for revitalization in Lawrence Heights a reality.
I�d like to thank�
- Members of North York Community Council for their consideration and their support in bringing the project to this important milestone.
- City staff for their hard work over the last four years, and dedication to this city and neighbourhood.
- Members of the surrounding communities, who I know will continue to articulate their concerns and aspirations for this part of the City, and�
- A special thank you to the agencies helping us along the way.�
Finally, I would like to thank the Lawrence Heights tenants for contributing their time and efforts in strengthening our revitalization plan and, more importantly, for the work they do every day to support and improve their community. We value and respect their vision and courage. It�s a privilege to work with them on this plan.�