Phoenix Place is uniquely affordable --
Green Phoenix helps keep it this way.
Phoenix Place is an unusual model for
affordable housing: it has never received any rent-geared-to-income
subsidy for its residents, but continues to offer 136 bachelor units at
rents that are significantly below the current market for comparable
units in the neighbourhood. The Foundation has achieved this remarkable
record by good management practices. The Green Phoenix project is a
strategic piece in the Foundation's efforts to continue this model of
affordablility: a core goal of the project is to dramatically reduce
utility costs for both the new and the exisitng housing to ensure that
the units remain affordable.
The first phase of the project will add 21
new units: 11 bachelors, 7 one-bedrooms, and 2 two-bedrooms. The larger
units recognize the need for more family housing.
Why build more bachelor apartments in
While Parkdale is known for its supply of
poorly-maintained bachelor units, there is a shortage of good, clean
units that are priced for people with low income. This view is
supported from a few directions: by a Need and Demand study done last
year, by local concern about the condition of bachelor units in the
area, (which is behind the City's pilot project to try to bring illegal
bachelors into the realm of City regulation), and by Phoenix Place's
own 3 year, 400+ waiting list for its existing 136 bachelor units.
Parkdale's housing stock is steadily
changing: as rental properties are bought for renovation or
owner-occupancy, the number of affordable rental units decreases.
Adding more good, affordable units will give residents more choice -- a
good thing for all of us.
Who will live in the new units?
Residents of Phoenix Place come from its
existing waiting list, as will the residents of the new units. The
waiting list is mostly from walk-in inquiries and word-of-mouth. Some
come referred by local agencies including shelters and refugee
organizations. Many on the list already live in Parkdale in the kind of
housing most people wouldn't want to visit, nevermind live in, or they
live in overcrowded shared accomodation.
Why build Green Phoenix in Parkdale?
The Parkdale United Church Foundation is
bringing land and money to the table to help build Green Phoenix. As
well, Phoenix Place has excellent housing management experience, and
the committment to build "green". These things are an unusual
In fact there are few opportunities to build
affordable housing anywhere. In all of the GTA in 2004, about 700 units
were built, compared to tens of thousands of condos. The cost of
building even modest units is at least three times what affordable rent
payments can support.
As Parkdale becomes a more desirable
neighbourhood for people working in the downtown core, much of the
older, more affordable rental units are being lost. Green Phoenix helps
keeps a healthy balance in a community that should be open to
households of all income levels.