City of Toronto advances the new Inclusionary Zoning policy to facilitate the creation of affordable housing

October 28, 2021

Today, the City of Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee voted to advance the new Inclusionary Zoning policy to get more affordable housing built.

The committee, including Mayor John Tory, approved a staff report proposing an Inclusionary Zoning Official Plan amendment, Zoning Bylaw amendment and draft Implementation Guidelines. The proposed policy is one of the steps that the City is taking to facilitate the creation of affordable rental and ownership housing in Toronto.

If adopted by City Council at the November meeting, Toronto will be the first city in Ontario to implement this tool which will make it mandatory for certain developments to include affordable housing. Beginning in 2022, Inclusionary Zoning will secure five to 10 per cent of condominium developments as affordable housing, increasing to eight per cent to 22 per cent by 2030. The amount of affordable housing required would vary depending on the area of the city, with the highest requirements in the Downtown.

Toronto’s proposed Inclusionary Zoning framework proposes foundational requirements for affordable housing in new development that will ensure affordability is maintained for 99 years. In the City’s policy, rents and ownership prices would be based on proposed new income-based definitions of affordable housing, targeting households with an annual income of between $32,486 and $91,611.

Inclusionary Zoning is already used in more than 800 jurisdictions in the U.S., Australia and Canada. While no two cities have the same Inclusionary Zoning policy, each one is tailored to the municipality’s local housing market and needs. Toronto’s proposed policy was developed based on detailed financial impact analysis, including a peer review, and input received through extensive consultation.

The policy will be closely monitored and reviewed after one year to allow for adjustments based on evolving market conditions and opportunities to expand its implementation to broader areas of the city.

The introduction of this policy tool represents a shift in how the City treats new developments. It will ensure affordable housing is incorporated in new developments on a consistent basis rather than being negotiated on a site-by-site basis, providing clarity for all parties from the very beginning. The policy proposes a balanced, forward-looking and equitable framework that will help the City achieve the HousingTO Action Plan target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030.

Quotes:

“I’m proud to support our Inclusionary Zoning plan – the first of its kind in Ontario. This will get more affordable housing built in our city and the one-year review of the policy the committee supported today will ensure we strike the right balance. Moving ahead with comprehensive, equitable policies such as the proposed Inclusionary Zoning is the right move forward to ensure that our city supports its residents, builds inclusive communities and remains vibrant and strong. I’m pleased to see Toronto leading this shift in development in Ontario to ensure that affordable housing is consistently available and that affordability is protected for the future.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Implementing the Inclusionary Zoning policy in Toronto will keep us on the road to our goal of creating 40,000 affordable homes by 2030. Having a consistent approach to affordable housing development will ensure that building inclusive, balanced communities that support our residents are top of mind in all new development plans.”

– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee

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