Today, Toronto city council approved an expedited plan to build a new 250-unit modular housing project for people experiencing homelessness.

To be constructed on city-owned land, the first phase of the project will include 110 pre-fabricated units expected to be ready for occupancy by September 2020 and another 140 units by April 2021. The plan passed 23-1, with only councillor Stephen Holyday opposed.

A city report cites the current COVID crisis as part of the impetus for the project. “Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto was already experiencing an unprecedented demand for homeless services due to various factors including a lack of affordable housing options in the city,” the report says. “Despite adding 3,000 shelter spaces since 2015, shelter occupancy remains at capacity with over 8,000 shelter users each night.”