Last year, the Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors endorsed a plan to significantly accelerate the pace of new rental construction in Regent Park to reduce the amount of time families are displaced. One year in, there has already been significant progress.
New building completed
The latest rental building in the Regent Park Revitalization, 180 Sackville, opened at the beginning of May, completed four months ahead of schedule. The block consists of an 11-storey apartment building with 86 homes, and four rows of a total of 32 townhomes. Relocated residents are currently in the process of moving into the building, completing their return to Regent Park.
Accelerated rental construction
As of May 2015, there are now 816 rental units in design, development or under construction, in addition to the 118 recently opened at 180 Sackville. This includes new midrise and highrise apartment buildings, as well as rental townhomes. In addition to the significant number of rental units under development, we are continuing construction of the new Regent Park Athletic Grounds, which will open this fall. Finally, the City of Toronto continues work on the new Regent Park Community Centre, which will also open this fall.
Returning relocated residents to Regent Park
We know that relocation is one of the hardest parts of Revitalization. That�s why our staff work closely with residents at every step of the process, meeting with them one household at a time to ensure that we find a relocation unit that works for them. In addition, learning from past experience, we have partnered with outside agencies in 2014 and 2015 to provide a relocation support worker who will help families who are being relocated to connect with agencies and support networks in their new communities. The Yonge Street Mission was recently selected as the agency to provide this service to residents in 2015 and 2016.
Residents decide which of the available relocation units they are interested in moving to. All households that need to relocate for Revitalization are given a list of a number of units to choose from that are located in communities throughout our portfolio. Our staff work closely with all residents one household at a time to help them choose a relocation unit that will work for them. Residents are only relocated to units that they have selected.
In Phases 1, 2 and 3A (the most recent residents to relocate, who moved in 2014), a total of 1139 households were relocated to allow for the construction of new buildings. All residents who are relocated have the right to return and will be offered a new unit built as part of the Regent Park Revitalization.�
Of those relocated to date, 573 households have returned, 310 are waiting to return, 133 have moved out of Toronto Community Housing entirely, and 123 have chosen to stay in their relocation units and waived their right to return. In addition, 17 units in the newest building at 180 Sackville have not yet been assigned to relocated households�as they move in over the next few months, this will bring the total number returned to 590.