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Toronto's housing plan good step but more measures needed on affordability: experts

The Canadian Press
Toronto's housing plan good step but more measures needed on affordability: experts

TORONTO — Urban planners and experts say Toronto’s recently approved housing plan is a good step forward but more efforts are needed to address the city’s affordability crisis.

Toronto city councillors recently voted in favour of Mayor John Tory’s proposals to allow multiplexes to be built in neighbourhoods currently restricted to single-family homes and to legalize rooming houses across the city.

Tim Smith, a planner with Urban Strategies in Toronto, says many existing buildings in the city can be transformed to rooming houses for students and other individuals living alone, which would reduce demand for apartments.

Smith says allowing multiplexes to be built in single-family home neighbourhoods would gradually increase the housing supply, but would also likely cause an increase in land value over time.

Nemoy Lewis, an assistant professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University, says new residential units that are built should be made affordable to most of the city’s residents.

He says the city should create more density in some of the most affluent neighbourhoods to ensure people are not concentrated in economically disenfranchised communities.

Toronto’s plan aims to exceed or meet the target it was recently given by the province to build 285,000 homes over the next 10 years.

The city manager has until March to submit a report to the executive committee outlining how the homes will be built.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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