A new building has opened up in Regent Park that is giving dozens of tenants the chance to live on their own in a safe and affordable space.

The 40 Oaks building is a $22.5-million project that has been in the works for the past seven years.

Built by the Toronto Christian Resource Centre, using a combination of private donations and public funding, it combines a community centre with 87 rental suites.

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Doug Jones says that having his own space at 40 Oaks is a welcome change after spending months living in shelters.

For many of the new tenants, it is the first time in their lives that they have a place of their own.

Doug Jones told CBC News that the chance to move into 40 Oaks was a welcome change after months of living in shelters.

"It actually felt like home the first day, it was beautiful," Jones told CBC News.

Tracey Estwick also moved into a new rental unit in the 40 Oaks building.

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Tracey Estwick has overcome some hard times in his life, but is happy to be in his new home at the 40 Oaks building in Regent Park.

He’s overcome a tough period in his life where he struggled with addiction, which left him living in rooming houses -- including one place where raccoons amok.

But Estwick got clean when he learned that his mother had fallen ill with cancer.

Though his mother is now gone, Estwick says he is in a better place now with a new home. And he can look back and see how far he has come.

"I’m resting easier, knowing that I know that she’s seen me clean for a good part of my life," Estwick told CBC News.

With files from CBC's Marivel Taruc