November 26, 2002

Workshop spurs ideas for affordable housing projects in York Region

VAUGHAN Ė More than 50 developers, planners, builders, architects and financial experts took part in a six-hour workshop today to determine how three developer-owned sites in York Region can accommodate affordable rental housing projects. The workshop, entitled "Bagels to Bricks, the Sequel: Focus on York Region", was held by the Kehilla Residential Programme, the official housing agency of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

The three sites, two in Vaughan and one in Newmarket, were selected based on their location, readiness to be developed and support of the owners. Workshop participants with different skill sets were assigned to each site to develop a financial model in tandem with the design of housing, based on a pro forma that was provided.

"With the release of York Regionís Housing Supply Strategy in June, the stage was set for a workshop to explore the design potential of affordable housing projects on three sites in the GTAís fastest growing municipality," said Moiz Behar, Vice Chair of the Kehilla Residential Programme. "I believe we were successful today in providing the owners with concrete proposals for real projects to be developed. Kehilla will continue to assist in this process."

"Itís been said that good plans require good partners, and good partners create great opportunities," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch in his remarks. "That is true this morning as a cross-section of representatives have come together with a common goal -- to increase the supply of affordable housing in York Region."

York Regionís population is projected to grow to 1.3 million people by 2026. Approximately 250,000 new residential units will be needed to accommodate the housing needs. York Regionís Housing Supply Strategy encourages the creation of new affordable housing in three key areas: affordable home ownership, private sector rental housing and non-profit housing.

"This workshop is timely given that Regional Council has just approved a motion to enact a Municipal Housing Facilities By-law," said Newmarket Mayor Tom Taylor, Chair of the Regionís Community Services and Housing Committee. "The By-law will allow us to offer incentives to the private sector in exchange for commitments to providing affordable housing."

The Kehilla Residential Programme identifies and champions affordable housing initiatives responsive to the needs of the Jewish community. It does this through education and advocacy, project sponsorship, development consultation, research, and management. For more information about Kehilla, visit For more information about York Region and its Housing Supply Strategy, visit


Contact: Ms. Nancy Singer or Mikhel Adirim, Kehilla Residential Programme

- (416) 932-1212

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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