Regent Park redevelopment delays frustrate residents

The completion date for the first phase of the Regent Park redevelopment in Toronto has been pushed back a year.

The first new building of the revitalization of Regent Park in Torontois beginning to take shape, but instead of excitement there's concern and confusion for 370 families.

The families were relocated two years ago so the project could go ahead.Most expected to be in their new homes by next year, but that target date has been pushed back, creating anxiety among some residents about when the move will actually happen.

Toronto Community Housing Corporation CEO Derek Ballantyne said the tenants who were relocated will start moving into their new building by 2009 and not 2008 as planned. "Getting planning approval and getting through initial planning stages took longer than anticipated, so we are now pushed into 2009," he said.

Other tenants want to know when the next round of demolition will start.Some have been warned they'll have to move out soon, but haven't been told where they'll be moving. One woman said she's "been checking the website and so far nothing on it from them."

Azizur Rahman, one of Regent Park's elected tenant representatives, said everything would be "easier if there's a good communication system."

Ballantyne said communicating to the diverse population of Regent Park has been a challenge, but an open house is planned for next week to update tenants about the progress of the redevelopment.

"It's another opportunity for people to ask questions and get an update on where things are at," said Ballantyne.