Toronto proposes $30B plan to build affordable housing

The report calls for building 65,000 new rent controlled homes by 2030.

Key Takeaways:

  • The report asks city officials to increase the total housing target to 65,000 new rent-controlled homes by 2030.
  • The city predicts that meeting those goals would cost between $28.6 billion and $31.5 billion across the next seven years and requires contributions from all levels of government.
  • The report recommends 22 actions for the city, as well as the federal and provincial governments to address the affordable housing crisis.
  • The plan will be put in front of the city’s Executive Committee next week (Oct. 31) in front City Council next month.

The Whole Story:

The city of Toronto has released a $30-billion plan to address the region’s affordable housing crisis. 

The report responds to the City Council’s direction to develop a plan to approve 25,000 new rent-controlled homes in addition to what was already planned, thereby increasing the city’s total housing target to 65,000 new rent-controlled homes by 2030.

Of the overall 65,000 new rent-controlled homes target, funding has already been secured to deliver 4,455 homes. The estimated cost to deliver the remaining 60,545 homes is between $28.6 billion and $31.5 billion across the next seven years and requires contributions from all orders of government.

“We urgently need to build more affordable housing faster, so people in our city can find a home they can afford,” said Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow. “That’s why we’re leading a generational shift in both how we deliver housing and the type of housing we’re going to build. We’re coordinating all City divisions to pull in one direction – building housing faster – and we’re setting new priorities to build rent-geared-to-income and not-for-profit housing.”

The report will be considered by the City’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and by City Council at its meeting from Wednesday, Nov. 8 to Friday, Nov. 10.

The report describes how Toronto’s housing system could be strengthened with a higher degree of coordination among city divisions, agencies and corporations, as well as other orders of government and the not-for-profit, co-op and private sectors. The report also recommends an increased role for the city in the direct delivery of housing with staff to explore a city-led development model at five “housing ready” sites.

The actions in the report are focused on increasing the supply of non-market homes (homes owned by the public, not-for-profit and co-op sectors), protecting existing rental homes and supporting renters. Key actions include:

  • Accelerating the development review and approval of new homes.
  • Working with the federal and provincial governments to increase access to funding and low-cost financing to move projects from approval into construction.
  • Establishing a more robust role for governments in both delivering and supporting the delivery of new homes.
  • Developing new and sustainable funding models.

The report recommends 22 actions for the city, as well as the federal and provincial governments, including: 

  • Dedicating more city-owned land to create new affordable homes. 
  • Accelerating the delivery of “housing ready” projects on City and not-for-profit owned land. 
  • Streamlining and optimizing people, processes and technology to expedite approvals and housing delivery.
  • Developing new and sustainable funding models to expand the delivery of affordable and RGI homes within mixed-income and sustainable communities.
  • Supporting the not-for-profit and co-op housing sectors.

The report proposes increases to the city’s previous HousingTO Plan target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes by 2030. The combined new target is now 65,000 rent-controlled homes including a minimum of 41,000 affordable rental, 6,500 RGI homes and 17,500 rent-controlled market homes.

The report also recommends that on a go-forward basis, all new affordable homes meet the city’s income-based definition of affordable housing.

To deliver all the homes, officials expect between $28.6 billion and $31.5 billion in funding must be secured in the next seven years. The city expects this will require contributions from all levels of government. The report includes estimates that each government stakeholder will need to deliver between $500 million and $800 million in funding per year, in addition to repayable financing.


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