Toronto takes next step to increase affordable housing

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Housing now to make municipally-owned properties available for development

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

The City of Toronto approved a signature initiative of Mayor John Tory which will increase the supply of affordable homes in the city.

The council’s decision to adopt the Housing Now initiative means it will increase the supply of new affordable rental housing within mixed-income communities by making municipally-owned properties available to non-profit and private organizations.

“Housing Now will fast track new housing developments at 11 surplus city properties to create 10,000 new residential units,” said Mayor John Tory. “I’m proud that City Council has taken swift and bold action on housing today to get shovels in the ground as quickly as possible. This is a direct and significant response to the issue Torontonians place at the top of their lists – affordable housing – and it is a common sense initiative we can take now with our city-owned land.”

The 10,000 homes will include 3,700 affordable rental units which must have average rents of no more than 80% of Toronto’s average market rent.

The City says this will benefit families with incomes of between $21,000 and $52,000 per year.

The sites for development will be close to employment areas and transit hubs and developers will need to create complete communities including schools, child care, community centres, and parks.

Financial incentives
Housing Now will provide up to $280 million in financial incentives in support of the 3,700 affordable homes including relief from development charges, building permit fees, planning application fees and parkland dedication fees as well as property taxes for the 99-year term during which the rents will remain affordable.

“Housing Now brings forward new City resources to work in partnership with the private, non-profit and co-op sectors to build new rental and affordable housing for all Torontonians. It will achieve the highest possible public benefits, while providing the deepest amount of affordability without waiting on funding from other levels of governments.”
said Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, Planning and Housing Committee Chair.

A new Housing Secretariat will facilitate the planning and development of the sites and, oversee the public market offering process.

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