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Toronto council approves city-as-developer housing plan

DCN-JOC News Services
Toronto council approves city-as-developer housing plan

TORONTO — Toronto City Council has approved a plan championed by Mayor Olivia Chow for a city-led development model for the construction of new affordable housing.

The recommendations approved recently came from a staff report titled Generational Transformation of Toronto’s Housing System to Urgently Build More Affordable Homes, stated a release.

The plan focuses on dedicating more city-owned land for affordable rental housing; accelerating housing projects on city-owned and non-profit-owned land; streamlining processes for approvals and housing delivery; establishing new funding models; and supporting an increased role for Indigenous, non-profit and co-operative housing providers.

The city-led development model would be implemented at five sites where the city leads all aspects of project delivery. This includes staff taking steps to identify and compare various housing delivery options with the goal of increasing public and non-profit ownership of homes, the release said.

City council recently amended the HousingTO Plan and increased its 40,000 affordable rental homes approval target. The new target is now 65,000 rent-controlled homes comprising 6,500 rent-geared-to income, 41,000 affordable rental and 17,500 rent-controlled market homes.

The report lists 51 City-owned housing sites that could deliver between 16,000 to 17,500 new rent-controlled homes.

Council also directed city staff to explore another 40 sites that could be added to the pipeline. Council has also told staff to explore and pilot models of city-led development. The report outlines improvements in processes and coordination that will speed up approvals.

The estimated cost to deliver over 60,000 new homes is between $28.6 billion and $31.5 billion over the next seven years. Chow has called on other levels of government to contribute to achieve that goal.

Since the launch of the HousingTO Plan, the city has committed approximately $8 billion in land, capital and operating funding and waived fees and charges.

“Today’s decision marks council’s commitment to transforming our housing system to benefit Torontonians now and for future generations,” stated Chow in a statement. “To effectively address the housing crisis, the government needs to get back into the business of building homes.

“By bringing all orders of government together, we can achieve our ambitious target of 65,000 new rent-controlled homes by 2030.”

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