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Affordable Housing

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 added 10 new units in the renovations of Shalom House The larger units recognize the need for more family housing on adjacent property.

Why build more bachelor apartments in Parkdale?

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, 200+ waiting list for its existing 143 bachelor and 4one bedroom 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, live in, or they live in overcrowded shared accommodation.

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 combination.

In fact there are few opportunities to build affordable housing anywhere. 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.

Copyright 2014 by the Parkdale United Church Foundation.