Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) has announced the formation of the Community Benefits Oversight Working Group (CBOWG), a diverse group of 20 Regent Park residents tasked with engaging the Regent Park community to inform the Community Benefits agreement for the allocation of the $26.8 million in benefits made possible through the Regent Park Revitalization.
"We are pleased to announce that the CBOWG is now active, beginning the process that will define the Community Benefits Agreement and create meaningful pathways for the socioeconomic transformation of Regent Park," said Peter Zimmerman, Senior Development Director, Toronto Community Housing. "Thank you to our tenants and market residents who are bringing their voices to the CBOWG, and to our development partner, Tridel, for committing an incredible $26.8 million in economic development funds for the continued social and physical transformation of the Regent Park community."
Following the framework established by TCHC and the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association (RPNA), the CBOWG will work with TCHC to collectively design, develop, plan, coordinate and oversee the implementation of a community benefits plan around four key focus areas previously identified by the community as essential to improving the neighbourhood and contributing to social cohesion and inclusion:
- Refreshed Social Development Plan (builds on the vision of social inclusion and cohesion in the first report, with additional major areas of focus: Safety, Employment and Economic Development, Community Building, and Communication).
Membership on the CBOWG is a voluntary opportunity for residents to lend their voices and take part in a yearlong process to understand what matters most to the community and help shape the future of Regent Park. TCHC provides an honorarium to CBOWG members during their first year in the working group, to help reduce barriers to participation.
The 20-member advisory group represents the diversity of the Regent Park community and membership is split equally between representatives from TCHC's tenant community and market residents, and includes representation from equity-deserving groups, youth, and members of grassroots organizations. TCHC and members of the Regent Park Neighourhood Association selected members in May after a call for resident participation in April.
The formation of the group comes on the heels of a request for rezoning proposal that TCHC and Tridel submitted to the City of Toronto in April. The proposal requests an increase in the density of development in the Regent Park Phases 4 and 5 lands. More than creating affordable homes and community spaces, the rezoning will maximize the value of public assets to create prosperity for the residents of Regent Park and create a thriving and vibrant community for all Torontonians to use and enjoy well into the future.
To learn more about the CBOWG, its mandate and opportunities to get involved, please visit our Regent Park Revitalization Phases 4 and 5 website, RP4and5.ca.