By: Donald Morrison
April 8th, 2022
In 1981, a group of Spanish speaking people in Toronto met to form a non-profit organization that would provide support and affordable housing for newly arrived immigrants from Latin America and Spain.
Las Flores has leveraged 134 housing units to provide affordable housing for thousands of families in the GTA since its founding in 1994. Las Flores has also initiated fundraisers for many Latin American countries, helping terminally ill children from Latin America and Spain come to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children for medical treatment.
In the midst of the post-pandemic housing crisis in the GTA, Las Flores elected a new President at their annual general meeting. Board members elected former director and well-known leader in the Hispanic community, Manuel Rodriguez.
Manuel Rodriguez is an entrepreneur and founding partner of Unikron, a leading Video Production agency. He is a founder of Hispanotech, a promoter of professional hispanics in the Canadian tech industry. Additionally, he was the past president of the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Rodriguez is well aware that the low to mid-range rental housing market is under a lot of stress, and just about everyone has been affected by it. It is timely that the federal government recognizes that it has to work with the municipalities to resolve this crisis. He presented a clear mandate to the board, advocating for a common goal and collaboration with all levels of Governments while promoting Las Flores as a successful story of affordable housing in the GTA.
“We at Las Flores have been fiscally responsible, and our results show that. The municipal and federal government have to look at the formula that we have at Las Flores. They have to look at our model consisting of a mix of for profit and non-profit housing because it works. The board is here to advance our mandate in collaboration with all levels of government”, Rodriguez said.
The composition of the board is now Manuel Rodriguez as President, Ericka Aguilera as Vice President, Maria Luisa Grimaldi as Treasurer, Idalmis Aldana as Secretary, and Rodrigo Ponce as Executive Board Member. This spring, with the efforts of the contributing members, Las Flores will blossom a new chapter of affordable housing in the GTA.
(Villa Las Flores Located at 10 Dora St. in Toronto - https://lasfloreshousing.com/)