There is a huge gap between student housing supply and demand in the greater Toronto area. In the absence of adequate residences, many students result to living in dubious, downright dangerous or illegal conditions; or they pay a very high price—whether it is on the private market or for a university residence. HOUSE (Housing Ontario University Students Equitably) intends to change things by setting up affordable non-profit housing projects for students, first in Toronto and then in various Ontario cities.
The NPO Community Affordable Housing Solutions is an example of compound collaboration. It is the result of the efforts of a community group in Toronto that fought for affordable housing in the Bloor Dufferin area, efforts that resulted in an agreement between a real-estate developer, the city of Toronto and the community group. It is also the result of the synergy between Habitat for Humanity GTA, the St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada to establish a land trust and to administer the funds raised by the agreement.
WoodGreen Community Services in Toronto has an ambitious plan to build 2,000 affordable housing units over 10 years. To tackle the challenge, the non-profit organization, founded in 1937, turned to the Community Housing Transformation Centre to help it acquire the resources it needs for the campaign.
How do community housing organizations ensure survival, growth and anticipate the future? These are issues that Birch Housing, which has been in operation since 1975 in the Toronto area, has been thinking about. It inspired them to go undergo a process to better understand their situation and to reposition themselves with a mission, clearly defined vision, values and directions, with a view to ensure not only survival but growth.