All levels of government help fund much needed apartments
(Written for Town Crier Aug 6.)
Flemingdon Park will be home to 62 new affordable homes for low-income seniors and people with disabilities by next summer.
It’s no accident the developer chose this area for affordable rental apartments for seniors, said Tim Neeb, president of Mahogany Management and Deauville Place, the project development company.
“There’s a higher percentage of seniors in the community than any other in Toronto,” Neeb told the Town Crier July 29 during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which is set to open July 1, 2011.
He’s referring to Statistics Canada Census 2006 for the Don Mills census area that incorporates Flemingdon. Seniors over the age of 65 make up about a quarter of the population in Don Mills, compared to the city average, which is just under 14 percent.
Seniors over 75 account for almost 14 percent of the area population compared to just 6.5 percent in the whole of North York, according to 2001 Stats Can census data and 2005 population estimates.
The apartments will allow seniors to continue to live independently in affordable accommodations right in their neighbourhood, said local councillor John Parker.
“I’m thrilled this project is here in Flemingdon, which will fill the need for seniors housing,” Parker told those gathered for the launch of the project. “There’s a shortage of affordable housing (in Toronto). There’s 18,000 seniors on the affordable housing waiting list right now.”
The project is being constructed at 5 Deauville Pl. by a private developer but with a ton of government funding.
The city is chipping in $550,000 by waiving development fees and property taxes while the province and federal governments are investing $7.4 million to make rents more affordable.
“Finding affordable and suitable housing is a real concern for many low income seniors and people with disabilities and this development will meet that need,” MP Peter Kent said at the launch.
Don Valley West MPP Kathleen Wynne said she was delighted to announce the province’s funding partnership for this local project.
“I know this community very well. I know this is an important project,” she said.
The complex will feature two garden terraces, a common kitchen space for events, a computer and crafts room. Also in design plans are several accessibility features like lower mailboxes, benches, easy-to-open fire exits and extra exterior lighting for safety.
This will also be a green building with features such as energy efficient lighting, windows, and boilers, and Energy Star appliances.
Better Living Healthy Community Services will have office space in the building to aid seniors with programming.
“We help seniors maintain their independence and well-being. It will reduce the need for seniors to be in long term care facilities or hospitals,” said Jennifer Gilson, a representative from the Better Living group.
(Because I often get contacted about how people can learn more about affordable housing, I have included the contact info for the developer: president Tim Neeb 905-337-8884 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)