A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “Why Regent Park’s Revitalization Needs $108 Million More to Keep Going”

Torontoist’s Alex McKeen explains why Toronto Community Housing finds it needs hundred million dollars to finish its revitalization of Regent Park, unexpectedly. There are both contingent and structural reasons at work.

The revitalization of Regent Park has been lauded as a “game changer”—partly because of the project’s mixed-income integration model. But despite its flourishing amenities and the positive attention it has attracted, the community—long one of the poorest in Toronto—is far from immune to funding woes.

A January 17 report from the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee indicates that the first two phases of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation plan for Regent Park have seen a significant funding shortfall. As a result, phase three of the project, which includes replacing 339 units of housing, is expected to have unfunded costs totalling $107.7 million.

“According to TCHC, delays in timing of sales of market housing resulted in delays in the social housing redevelopment,” a portion of the report reads. The Budget Committee also cited “additional unexpected costs” associated with phases one and two of the project to have contributed to the funding shortfall.

In order for phase three of the project to proceed, the Budget Committee has recommended that the City of Toronto authorize TCHC to incur indebtedness of $107.7 million.

This measure reflects a larger problem in the TCHC. The deputy city manager’s Tenants First report, dated June 14 2016, called the TCHC’s business model “fundamentally broken,” with a growing operating deficit resulting from “a combination of static revenues and rapidly increasing operating costs.” The report also identifies numerous governance and organizational issues.

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Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm

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