Tackling Toronto’s housing affordability crisis is a key priority. There are new affordable housing projects in the works in Toronto-Danforth at the Riverdale Co-op and the Don Summerville Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) site. The latter is part of an initiative to make sure TCHC revitalization projects not only replace the existing homes, but also build new affordable housing. You can read the latest report on the Don Summerville revitalization project online here.

The City’s Housing Now initiative is a plan to build 7,400 purpose built rental units in Phase 1, half of which are to be rented at below market rates. These will be part of mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented neighbourhoods on 11 City-owned properties. We’re also developing a tool called Inclusionary Zoning that requires developers to build affordable housing units as part of development projects.  These are key components of the City’s overall Housing 2020-2030 Action Plan.

The Planning and Housing Committee also created a new Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing, chaired by Councillor Fletcher, in 2019 with a mandate to protect the affordable units we already have and fight illegitimate evictions.  Public deputations to the Committee in November articulated the width and depth of the problem.

City of Toronto continues to take extraordinary steps to help and protect people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, the City of Toronto has moved at unprecedented speed to adjust its services for those experiencing homelessness by creating 2,300 spaces in new temporary shelter and hotel programs for physical distancing.

So far in 2020, the City has also referred more than 2,500 people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing through a combination of housing allowances and rent-geared-to-income units, representing a 50 per cent increase over the same period last year.

City of Toronto recommends a tax on vacant homes in Toronto

Today, Mayor John Tory announced a City of Toronto staff report will be going to Executive Committee next week recommending a tax levy on vacant Toronto homes starting in 2022.

A vacant home tax increases the housing supply by encouraging homeowners to sell or rent their unoccupied home, and if they choose to continue to keep the home vacant, a tax is levied. This revenue can then be used to fund affordable housing projects.

City Council moves to rapidly build new affordable and supportive homes for Toronto’s most vulnerable with $203 million federal investment

Following this week's announcement from the Government of Canada that the City of Toronto will receive $203.3 million through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), today City Council approved Mayor John Tory's motion directing staff to take the next steps to plan and implement the work needed to move forward.

The RHI is delivering $1 billion in grant funding nationally to rapidly create new affordable rental housing in response to the urgent housing needs of vulnerable and marginalized individuals. Specifically, the RHI aims to support: women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans, LGBTQ2+, racialized groups, Black Canadians, recent immigrants or refugees, and homeless people or those at risk of homelessness.

City of Toronto marks milestone in delivery of first modular, supportive housing

Mayor John Tory was joined today by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport) and Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest) to mark a key milestone in the delivery of the City’s first modular housing building. At the 11 Macey Ave. site, the modular homes are being installed this week by crane, bringing the project a significant step closer to occupancy, which is anticipated to take place next month.

Inclusionary Zoning Policy Public Consultation

The City of Toronto is developing an inclusionary zoning policy that would require new residential developments to include affordable housing units, creating mixed-income housing. Our city is growing and we want to make sure new housing is affordable for those who call Toronto home. Inclusionary zoning is one solution among a range of City initiatives to help address Toronto’s housing needs.

Toronto's 2020-2021 winter plan for people experiencing homelessness includes more spaces and enhanced street outreach

Homelessness is an extremely complex issue and the City of Toronto continues to experience significant demand for emergency shelter. To ensure safe and welcoming places for people who need them during the coming winter weather, the City is providing details about the 2020-21 winter services plan.

The winter plan is part of the City’s Interim Shelter Recovery and Infrastructure Implementation Plan released today, which specifies measures needed over the next 12 months to protect homeless clients and to continue to provide shelter services safely while COVID-19 is a concern.

City of Toronto issues Open Door program call for applications to support building new affordable rental housing

The City of Toronto has released the 2020 Call for Applications for the Open Door program. The program provides an opportunity for private, co-op and non-profit affordable housing organizations to apply for support from the City to create affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income households in Toronto.

The Open Door program encourages private, co-op and non-profit housing organizations to develop affordable housing by providing successful applicants with a range of financial contributions, which could include an exemption of fees, charges or property tax as well as capital funding. Successful Open Door applications also benefit from the Open Door Planning Service which fast-tracks approvals.

City of Toronto calls for Federal-Provincial-City partnership to create 3,000 permanent, affordable homes over the next 24 months

The City of Toronto has issued the COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Recovery Response Plan -- an urgent appeal to the federal and provincial governments to create 3,000 permanent, affordable homes, within the next 24 months, for homeless, vulnerable and marginalized residents. These investments will support the Council-approved HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan aimed at helping more than 340,000 households in Toronto over the next 10 years.

City of Toronto Modular Housing Initiative progressing quickly; initial site locations identified

Within a month of receiving Council approval, the plan to expedite delivery of Phase 1 of the City of Toronto’s Modular Housing Initiative is well underway and the program is on track to provide stable, affordable, high quality housing and support services to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness by the fall of 2020.

A key component of the expedited delivery is site identification. City and CreateTO staff have been evaluating City-owned land across Toronto using criteria that included local demand for affordable housing, development potential of the site, local infrastructure, access to public transit, access to health and other community services, as well as zoning and other bylaw considerations. Following the rigorous evaluation process, the following two sites are being recommended for Phase 1 of the Modular Housing Initiative:

Second Phase of the Housing Now Initiative released; new City-owned sites identified to create more affordable homes in Toronto

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the release of the Phase Two sites of Housing Now, a signature initiative to increase the supply of new affordable rental housing within mixed-income, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities on City-owned lands across Toronto.

Housing Now is a key component of the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO) and contributes towards the City's target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes over the next 10 years. HousingTO is a comprehensive blueprint to assist more than 341,000 households over the next ten years by addressing the need across the housing spectrum – from homelessness to affordable rental and ownership housing. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an even greater number of residents experiencing housing challenges while also underscoring the importance of having a home in order to practice physical distancing and self-isolation. The City is looking to expedite delivery of the HousingTO plan in partnership with other levels of government in order to quickly provide more housing options for residents.

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