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Revitalization met with joy, worries by housing tenants

Sureya Ibrahim, a mother of three from Ethiopia, is a shining example of how well the revitalization has worked for Regent Park tenants.

Sureya Ibrahim, a mother of three from Ethiopia, is a shining example of how well the revitalization has worked for Regent Park tenants.

Before the renewal project began, the 31-year-old lived with her children in one of the cockroach-infested public housing units on Dundas Street West. Last December, she moved into a brand new three-bedroom townhouse unit after a three-year wait at a temporary home on River Street. She is still raving about her new home. “(We have) two washrooms, (so) it’s a big deal,” she smiled. “They did a very good job building (it). The walls, the floors, it’s perfect.”

Other Regent Park residents have not been so fortunate. Several years into the project, there remains a lingering fear of displacement among tenants still living in the original 50-year-old buildings and those temporarily relocated across town.

Each of the 2,083 residences in the 69-acre downtown area bounded by Gerrard, Dundas, Shuter and River Streets, are to be knocked down and rebuilt.

The units included three new community housing high rises built in the East Downtown area on Carlton, Richmond and Adelaide Streets. These buildings also feature a mix of RGI (rent-geared-to-income) units as well as low-end market units.

Although still close to Regent Park, some residents have found the move into those buildings hard to cope with.

 
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