It was standing room only for more than 250 Regent Park residents keen to hear about their relocation or return status to Regent Park on Monday, February 25. A number of community partners, including the Toronto Police Service, sent representatives to the meeting. Councillor Pam McConnell also attended and spoke positively about the revitalization process.
Toronto Community Housing has submitted a re-zoning application to get the approvals needed to start the remaining construction phases at Regent Park. Once Toronto Community Housing gets the approvals, the next step will be preparation for the demolition of phase 3a, which means residents east of Sumach Street and south of Dundas Street will be relocated to new housing.
The meeting also addressed residents that were relocated during phase 1, who learned that they will have an opportunity to return to one of 105 rent-geared-to-income units available at 230 Sackville Street as early as this fall. There are a total of three rental buildings in phase 2 (approximately 446 rental units) that are still under design or construction, scheduled for completion in 2016.
The meeting was very informative, said one Regent Park resident. I'm glad there was participation from both phases, and that equal time was given to both groups to ask staff questions and get responses, she said.
The process of relocation is a major life event, which is why we engaged residents and local agencies to learn from them and improve what we do, said Tom Burr, Regent Park Development Director. As a result, we are implementing more frequent communications, more ways to engage, and providing clearer materials to support tenants unit selection.
Language interpreters relayed important information about the process to residents, and the room buzzed with excitement when images of what the new kitchen and living rooms would be like when complete came up on the screen.
One of the key things people left with today is accurate information, said Zahrah Munas, a community animator, who is also a Regent Park resident. People are confused and they're learning a lot of information. This is people's lives we're dealing with. They didn't choose to leave, but at the same time revitalization is necessary for our community, she said.
Phase 2 residents will be receiving letters about returning to Regent Park in the next couple of weeks and are invited to attend an Open House on March 27, where residents will learn more about random selection, a transparent lottery process that gives a number to each household to pick the floorplan of their new home.
View the PowerPoint presentation here
To learn more about what's going on in Regent Park click here