Partna's unique proposition to add to the affordable housing supply

July 13, 2022 by SofC Staff

Torontonians –and disproportionately those of colour–  are losing access to safe housing options in the face of rising inflation, stagnant wages, and theText "PARTNA TO IMPROVE YOUR PROPERTY AND COMMUNITY", along with the Partna logo featuring four joined hands increasing costs of either owning or renting a home.

In response, urban planner and anti-racism advocate, Cheryll Case has joined forces with seasoned financial expert Jason John to found Partna — a social enterprise that collaborates with homeowners to expand affordable housing options in already built neighbourhoods.


The Partna Survey gathered valuable first-hand input and insights from neighbourhoods and community members across Toronto. Explore here >>

Partna taps into the potential of the over 2 million empty bedrooms that already exist within the City of Toronto.

Images of existing houses with opportunities for affordable housing extensions highlighted in yellow
Source: Partna

Its expert team and collaborators work with homeowners to prepare proposals to build affordable missing middle housing on their properties  (i.e., laneway houses, garages conversions, basement apartments, storey additions, or redevelopment into apartments of 4 storeys or less where applicable). Collaborators in the design of Partna include government, financial institutions, affordable housing as well as residential associations that help spread the word to local homeowners.

On May 11, 2022, Toronto City Council directed the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to work in collaboration with the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, and Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, to identify what would be required to support the successful implementation of the PARTNA program, and address barriers as they relate to zoning, land use planning and Black-led affordable housing development, and report back to the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee or the Planning and Housing Committee in the first quarter of 2023. We are excited to see how the conversations unfold.

"It's great to see the City's growing work to identify barriers to ensure the successful implementation of such a critically important program, like the PARTNA Initiative. Our City desperately needs more targeted affordable housing interventions to respond to the disproportionate and accelerating number of under-housed and homeless Black Torontonians. This proactive response and commitment to support this Program is an important step forward."
Anthony Morgan, Manager, Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit, City of Toronto


Graphic illustration of Partna's circular housing model
Source: Partna

Applying a human rights lens, Partna is focused on creating a "circular economy" model for housing.

The process begins with pooling together private, charitable and government funds for investing in a community housing development project.

Next, Partna and interested property owners identified through community outreach together enter an agreement that outlines the terms of investment and production of new housing.

The execution of the project then leads to an increase in property value with the addition of new affordable housing to the existing supply.

Partna manages the new rental, and funds accrued are reinvested in the pool to support more such projects.

Through this transparent and inclusive model of adding to the affordable housing supply without increasing sprawl and bypassing the environmental, financial and social costs of brand-new developments — Partna is also empowering community members by supporting their activities and the diverse densification of their neighbourhoods.



Sign up to the mailing list to receive updates on Partna’s development: Partna Housing

Stay tuned for upcoming community session on how Partna can help Black households build affordable housing.

Learn more about the work done by Partna to confront housing and wealth inequity in Toronto, here.