Ontario Construction News special feature
Here’s a list of the top 10 leading organizations focusing on affordable housing in Ontario. You’ll see non-profits, businesses, and utilities in the list. Each has a unique story and has made powerful, long-term commitments to the affordable housing challenge.
The listing here is alphabetical, as we are not trying to establish a ranking order within the list.
Bellwoods Centres for Community Living Inc.
Bellwoods Centres has a very succinct vision: A future where barriers do not exist. Bellwoods has several partners which help to make independent living a reality. They include the City of Toronto, the Ontario government, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, First National Financial LP, St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society and Mahogany Management.
From Bellwoods’ first milestone in 1957 when the organization pioneered housing renovated for accessibility and services for six women with cerebral palsy, to its many accomplishments since then, Bellwoods continues its work daily on behalf of individuals with physical support needs in the Toronto Area.
Chamberlain Architects has made the design of affordable housing a priority. The 40-year-old company believes taking a fresh, innovative approach to the two-fold problem of creating new and maintaining existing social housing developments, is crucial. Chamberlain’s approach to affordable housing seeks to do more than to simply create decent spaces. There has been a stigma associated with these housing developments since little attention was paid to designs and details. Chamberlain’s philosophy for this type of project is to create architecture which lifts a neighbourhood’s tone making people proud to live there.
CRC Self Help Inc.
Toronto Christian Resource Centre Self Help Inc. (CRC Self Help) was established in 1985 as a not-for-profit housing organization to address the needs of homeless people by providing affordable housing to low income single adults who are the hardest to house in Toronto. CRC Self Help owns and manages 33 houses, with a total of 177 rent-geared-to-income units. Living up to its name, CRC Self Help believes that self–help is fostered when an individual or group learns to become independent and more in control of decisions which play a role in daily lives.
Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation
Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC) aims to meet the housing needs of the region’s diverse population through providing a practical, well-maintained and affordable housing portfolio integrated within the community. The corporation assists with related services to support residents in their housing needs. The corporation owns and manages more than 1,100 apartment and townhouse rental units at 19 sites across Durham Region. DRNPHC’s origin stemmed from the growing awareness about the lack of affordable housing to meet the requirements of low and moderate income earners whose needs were not being met by the private sector.
Enbridge Affordable Housing Program
Enbridge offers affordable housing owners as much as $100,000 in incentives. Owners can get cash back from the Enbridge Gas Affordable Housing Program. They just have to do an energy audit or make capital improvements which reduce the gas consumption of their building.
The program’s aim is to increase the efficiency of Ontario’s affordable housing. The company believes achieving greater energy efficiency will help overall energy consumption and operating expenses for owners, while at the same time, improve the comfort and quality of life for residents.
Georgian Bay Native Non-Profit Homes Inc.
Georgian Bay Native Non-Profit Homes Incorporated (GBNNPHI) started providing homes in 1985, and now operate 33 affordable homes in the Parry Sound area for the First Nations people. They pride themselves on having a strong history of compassion and professionalism. The GBNNPHI Board of Directors combines decades of experience into one governing body. Each board member brings perspectives from throughout the region and diverse backgrounds truly representing the voice of affordable housing.
Ottawa Community Housing
Ottawa Community Housing’s (OCH) vision is to be a leader in providing safe and affordable homes to enable its tenants to fully participate in the socio-economic opportunities of the city. As a leader in the delivery of quality, affordable housing, OCH collaborates with others to develop safe and healthy communities. OCH provides about 15,000 homes to more than 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and those with special needs. OCH houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. It is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the city’s social housing portfolio, and is the second largest in Ontario.
Region of Peel
The Region of Peel offers several programs to help if residents if they need to receive a subsidy for housing, to find shelter if they’re homeless or to renovate their homes to make them more accessible. Those residents who can’t afford the cost of rent can apply for more affordable housing to have part of their rent is paid.
The region also helps out housing developers or community organizations interested in building new, affordable housing in the area. The Region of Peel also offer one-time assistance to eligible homeowners to help cover the cost of renovations to an existing second unit.
Trinity Glen Housing Corporation
Trinity Glen Housing Corporation is located in Newmarket in York Region. It offers subsidized housing to families who would otherwise struggle to make ends meet. It also has non-subsidized units. Many people living in the subsidized units pay rent based on their income. Rent geared-to-income (RGI) is typically calculated at 30 per cent of a household’s total gross income. Housing York Inc. is York Region’s housing corporation. It owns and operates nearly 2,500 subsidized and market rent housing units across York Region. Trinity Glen Housing Corporation is one of these.
Yardi Canada Ltd.
Yardi provides software for real estate clients — some of which own, operate and/or manage affordable housing corporations. Their software — Voyager Affordable Housing — supports entire organizations on single, affordable housing platforms. It allows these corporations to centralize their operations, finance, and maintenance management letting them get on with the work of providing affordable housing to residents who need it. They offer a number of affordable housing products through Affordable Housing Suite such as accounting, payment processing, resident screening and facilities management, to name a few.