Developer helps residents of the New Broadview Hotel locate affordable alternative housing.
Performers at Jilly’s put on one last show Sunday night before the infamous Queen Street East strip club closed down for good. The remaining 13 tenants of the New Broadview Hotel above are vacating the building, too—by fall, they’ll be in new homes.
The new owner of the property, Streetcar Developments, has partnered with the City of Toronto and WoodGreen Community Services, a non-profit social services agency, to find affordable places for the hotel’s long-term, low-income residents to live.
Two of Streetcar employees have worked individually with each tenant on an almost daily basis. Les Mallins, the company’s founder, told Torstar News Service that for most residents, the biggest barrier to moving out was an inability to save up first and last months’ rent. Many of the tenants were without telephone and Internet access—another major impediment to apartment hunting—and those who for years hadn’t filed income tax found they could not qualify for City rental subsidies, having no proof of their low income.
Streetcar has provided money to tenants for their first and last months’ rent, and will cover the cost of moving, too. The company has also agreed to provide WoodGreen with money to hire a pair of staff members, who will help find accommodations for the remaining hotel residents—a challenging task in a city seemingly bereft of affordable housing, especially in the downtown area—and offer them additional support over the next year.
So far, Streetcar has not announced any specific plans for their new property, which stands at the corner of Broadview and Queen, although they have no intention of turning the 120-year-old building into a condo development.