City of Toronto launches call for new Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program to protect affordable housing

Today, the City of Toronto is launching a request for proposals (RFP) for the new Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program to protect affordable housing for Toronto residents. Approved by City Council in the 2022 budget, this program provides $20 million in grant funding and City Open Door Program incentives to qualified non-profit and Indigenous housing providers, including housing cooperatives and community land trusts.

To respond to Toronto’s growing need for affordable housing, MURA will support the non-profit housing sector to purchase, renovate and operate market rental properties for Toronto residents with low to moderate incomes. These homes will be secured as affordable housing for at least 99 years and contribute towards the City’s target of creating 40,000 affordable rental homes by 2030, as established in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.

Eligible properties include small apartment buildings of up to 60 units and multi-tenant houses (also known as rooming houses) that are either vacant or occupied and at risk of being lost due to conversion to less affordable housing. Under MURA, apartment buildings are eligible for up to $200,000 in acquisition and renovation funding per unit; multi-tenant houses are eligible for up to $150,000 per dwelling room.

To advance the City’s commitments to truth, reconciliation and justice, 20 per cent of the annual MURA funding allocation will be dedicated to supporting acquisitions by Indigenous housing organizations for Indigenous peoples.

Beyond protecting existing rental properties and creating permanent affordable rental homes, MURA aims to:

  • improve housing stability for current and future tenants
  • improve the physical conditions of buildings
  • increase capacity in the non-profit and Indigenous housing sectors
  • ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the homes

MURA will be implemented through an annual open call for proposals process that will select and pre-qualify experienced non-profit and Indigenous housing providers for acquisition funding. Once approved, groups will be provided with a conditional letter of commitment for funding from the City. Funding for security deposits and pre-acquisition work will also be provided to pre-qualified organizations, allowing them to move quickly to secure properties available for purchase.

More information on the request for proposals for MURA, as well as details regarding a virtual information session on Wednesday, April 13 from 3 to 4.30 p.m. are available on the Open Requests for Proposals webpage.

The Open Door Program is designed to accelerate affordable housing construction by providing a range of incentives from the City, which could include an exemption of fees, charges or property tax; capital funding; the fast-tracking of planning approvals; and activating surplus public land. More information is available on the Open Door Affordable Housing Program webpage.

Quotes:

“The City of Toronto is taking concrete action to protect the availability of affordable rental homes for Toronto residents with low-to-moderate income. I supported the creation of the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program because it is absolutely critical for the future of our city that people from all income levels have a place to call home. I encourage eligible housing groups to respond to this call and help us invest in housing for vulnerable families and people in Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory

“We must build more affordable housing in our City, but equally as important is our commitment to maintain and protect some of the existing affordable housing stock in our City.  MURA will assist non-profit organizations to acquire properties, protecting and creating affordable housing in the City while increasing capacity in the sector.”

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

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