Province chips in $3 million for affordable housing projects in Whitby and Oshawa

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Published March 2, 2022 at 2:19 pm

The Ontario Government is providing more than $3 million to help build 26 accessible housing units in Whitby and 10 microhomes in Oshawa to support people with addictions and mental health challenges, and those from racialized groups or at risk of homelessness.

“Affordable, accessible and suitable housing is essential for healthy communities, and strong and vibrant Region of Durham neighbourhoods. It underpins the quality of life for people in Durham, at every stage of their lives,” said Whitby MPP and Chief Government Whip Lorne Coe. “I look forward to continued collaboration with local Durham communities, and the Federal Government as together we ensure that Durham Region continues to be a safe, healthy, caring, inclusive community that will be sustainable for future generations.”

The funding will support the Muslim Welfare Residences, located at 732-740 Dundas Street in Whitby, which will provide 26 new transitional and supportive housing for homeless women or at risk of becoming homeless; and the Oshawa Microhomes, located at the corner of Drew Street and Olive Avenue in Oshawa, which will provide 10 affordable homes for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness and those with mental health challenges.

Both projects offers transitional housing and support, including financial assistance, employment services, mental health and addictions supports, and life skills teaching.

“Our Social Services Relief Fund is providing urgent housing and homelessness relief in communities across the province, as one of the biggest investments we’ve made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in Ontario’s history,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark.

Muslim Welfare Centre general manager Rehan Muhammad said the new residences will provide safe and comfortable accommodation to homeless women in the fully-furnished facility, irrespective of their background, religion or ethnicity. “During their stay of up to three years, our residents will be offered vocational training and necessary life-skills, including financial management to be able to live independently and integrate successfully in their neighborhoods.”

Muhammad added he is “very appreciative” of the support from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Federal Government (CMHC), and the Region of Durham for their financial help in making this project possible. “We have strived to contribute towards alleviating homelessness in the Region of Durham since 1996 through our emergency shelter in Whitby, and look forward to continuing our efforts for many more years.”

Durham Region Chair John Henry said the provincial investment will help ensure no one “falls through the cracks” or gets left behind. “With more funding being made available for these two new local projects, this is another major step towards achieving the Region’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2024.”

The funding announcement is part of the Province’s Social Services Relief Fund, which has provided $1 billion of support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to help municipal service managers and Indigenous program partners create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

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