For Immediate Release
June 14, 2001
Commissioner of Housing and Property, General Manager of Peel Living
Region of Peel
905-453-1300, Ext. 2518
Peel Living Celebrates 25 Years of Social Housing Successes
(Brampton) - The Board of Directors of Peel Living held its annual general meeting today, celebrating 25 years of planning, building and managing social housing in the Region of Peel.
Peel Living is the Region of Peel's non-profit housing corporation and the largest provider of affordable non-profit housing in Peel. Residents are comprised of seniors, families, singles and persons with special needs.
"Peel Living is not a success story - it's tens of thousands of success stories," said President and Regional Councillor Paul Palleschi in the Corporation's annual report. A vital key to Peel Living's success is its deliberate mix of residents, with some receiving rental assistance through income-based subsidies and others paying market rent.
"The first resident was signed on in 1979," said Keith Ward, Commissioner of Housing and Property for the Region of Peel and General Manager of Peel Living. "Since then, over 32,000 people have lived in Peel Living homes in either townhouses or apartments. Many of these residents were able to gain stability in their lives because of access to affordable housing or were able to save for their own home. We're proud of that because, as a government agency, we are a business with a social conscience. Our corporate purpose is to build better communities."
Before January 1, 2001, Peel Living's portfolio totaled 5,500 units. Today, Peel Living's roster includes over 6,500 apartments and townhouses in 70 locations in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. The additional 1,016 units came from Peel Regional Housing Authority, the province's local social housing stock.
In December 2000, the province proclaimed the Social Housing Reform Act, transferring administration of social housing programs and management to municipalities. Peel Living's first move was to merge with Peel Regional Housing Authority, which received provincial approval to become a corporation.
"The merger made a lot of sense to us," said Ward. "We were able to combine the talents of both corporations and the Region's Housing staff to achieve greater efficiencies in doing business."
Peel Living is one of 41 social housing providers in the Region of Peel. As a result of the new legislation, the Region will assume responsibility to administer the Rent Supplement program and the Co-ordinated Access waiting list for all social housing units in Peel.
"There are currently 19,000 applications for a unit in Peel's social housing stock. This represents a staggering 34,000 people. The average wait time for these people is eight years," advised Ward.
"It is very dismaying to wear my Peel Living hat to be forced to evict someone who has reached the end of their rope through no fault of their own while wearing my Commissioner of Housing and Property hat to strive, with our colleagues in Health and Social Services, to cope with increasing numbers of homeless people," Ward explained.
The Region and Peel Living hope to build much-needed additional housing in the near future. In the works is a 136-unit senior citizens building in central east Mississauga. Also on the books is a 50-unit efficiency apartment building.
"Those projects will be the first significant rental apartment projects started in the Region in many years," said Ward. "Senior governments got out of the social housing business beginning in 1995. Since then, only 79 rental apartments have been built in Peel. We hope the provincial and the federal governments are willing to partner up with us to match Regional Council's funding commitments to bring more affordable housing into the Region of Peel."
Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail
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