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February 8, 2024
Today, Mayor Olivia Chow and Carol Zoulalian, Executive Director of St. Jude Community Homes (SJCH), officially announced the acquisition of a residential building – located at 1845 Gerrard St. E. – through the City of Toronto’s Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program. This initiative will help preserve the building as affordable rental housing, contributing to the protection of Toronto’s affordable housing stock.
About the housing project
St. Jude Community Homes (SJCH), an experienced not-for-profit housing and support services provider, was granted $4 million through the MURA program as part of the City’s 2022 call for applications. In September 2023, SJCH used MURA funds to purchase a building with 20 homes at 1845 Gerrard St. E. By purchasing the property with MURA funding, SJCH was able to secure this property and ensure that residents are protected from potential evictions and loss of supports.
The building hosts an independent living program that offers permanent, safe and affordable housing with support services. Rents will be set at a maximum average of 80 per cent of Average Market Rent as reported annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These homes will be secured as affordable housing for at least 99 years.
Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program
The MURA program provides funding to not-for-profit housing providers to preserve existing affordable rental housing stock to help achieve the City’s target of approving 65,000 new rent-controlled homes across the city by 2030 including 6,500 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) homes and 18,000 supportive homes with a focus on helping people exit homelessness.
The MURA program plays a crucial role in supporting the not-for-profit housing sector in safeguarding existing rental properties, creating permanently affordable housing and enhancing housing stability for Toronto residents. Additionally, it actively contributes to the improvement of physical conditions in buildings. Since its 2021 launch, the MURA program has provided $55.5 million to not-for-profit agencies to secure more than 300 permanently affordable homes in neighbourhoods across Toronto. To further Toronto’s commitment to truth, reconciliation and justice, a minimum of 20 per cent of the annual MURA funding allocation is dedicated to supporting acquisitions by Indigenous housing organizations for Indigenous peoples.
More information about the MURA program is available on the City’s website.
“I am thrilled that St. Jude Community Homes has acquired this building and that the people who live here can rest knowing that their homes are protected. This is another great example of how the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program can help not-for-profit organizations create and preserve affordable housing in our city. In my 2024 budget, I’ve committed to expanding the MURA program to $100 million over three years to secure more affordable homes for people. Everyone needs to feel safe in their home and have confidence that they will not be unfairly evicted.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“The Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program is a key initiative to address the housing needs of a range of households, from low- to moderate-income renters. By acquiring and preserving existing affordable rental buildings, we are ensuring that communities across Toronto can be more equitable, inclusive and sustainable for years to come. This program is an important part of the city’s new generational transformation of the housing system and protecting our existing affordable housing stock.”
– Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“The Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program is an important part of Toronto’s plan to tackle the housing crisis. This program helps not-for-profit housing providers preserve existing affordable homes and gives tenants more security and stability for the long term. The MURA program is one of the common-sense ways we are working to ensure that Toronto remains a city where everyone can afford to live.”
– Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York), Vice Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
“St. Jude Community Homes is honoured to work with the City of Toronto to increase the number of much needed affordable supportive housing rental units. Support from the MURA program profoundly impacted our community and people’s lives. As we went from renter to owner, a collective sigh of relief was felt as worry and anxieties from the uncertainties of knowing the landlord wanted to sell the 20-unit building faded. With ownership, tenants can continue to live long term in their homes now that the building is safe, well taken care of, and affordable in perpetuity.”
– Wayne March, Board Director & Resident, SJCH, and Carol Zoulalian, Executive Director, SJCH
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