As housing affordability reaches "a crisis point" in York Region, the Town of Newmarket wants to donate land on Yonge Street to Inn From the Cold for shelter and transitional housing for homeless individuals.
The homeless shelter, currently at 510 Penrose St., is partnering with the municipality to build a new facility at 17046 Yonge St., near the Eagle Street intersection pending council approval and a business plan review, according to a town news release today, July 8.
Mayor John Taylor said housing affordability has reached “a crisis point” and residents are in need, adding that he hopes the community rallies around the project.
“If this project moves forward, the shelter will not only assist those who are currently without homes in Newmarket, but would offer more transitional housing and enhanced links to social services,” Taylor said. “What people need is not just a temporary stay or a meal, but longer-term solutions to bridge the gap. Transitional Housing is the key to moving people from crisis to stability."
Inn From the Cold has more steps to take to make the project happen, according to the news release, including purchasing the property immediately south of the donated municipal land. The town has agreed to purchase that land back from Inn From the Cold if the development cannot proceed for any reason.
Executive director Ann Watson said the organization will apply for a Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation grant to assist with the land purchase and will launch a fundraising campaign to help build the new shelter.
“We are excited as this location is ideal to support those at the shelter. It’s on a major transit route and close to the social services required to help people to gain access to the basic building blocks in order to transition to a better life,” Watson said.
The municipality said if the project proceeds, it would work with Inn From the Cold and area residents to address buffering, tree preservation and building location. Inn From the Cold plans for the building to be close to the street, with access via Yonge only.
“This is an ideal location, and I’m looking forward to working with Ward 6 residents to ensure their concerns are addressed,” area Councillor Kelly Broome said. “I know our community will be a part of the fight to help end homelessness and support IFTC to help make this a reality.”